Archive for July, 2008

source: Mmegi
BAME PIET
Staff Writer

Minister of Local Government, Margaret Nasha, tabled a Bill to regulate the procurement process of local authorities for works, supplies and services.

The proposed law provides for the disposal of public assets, both physical and intellectual. These include the letting, hiring, or granting of any public assets, rights or services by local authorities.

The minister said that the legal instruments, which govern the procurement and disposal of assets for local authorities were promulgated between 1955 and 1970. “These include the Township Act and the District Tender Regulations. Despite several amendments to these, between 1980 and 1990, the legal framework has become inadequate in a number of critical areas,” explained Nasha. She said that local authorities procurement and asset disposal processes have, as a result, been subjected to abuse by [continue reading]

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source: Agence de Press Africane

APA-Lusaka (Zambia) Zambia and Botswana have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the proposed construction of Kazungula Bridge to link their two countries, and the feasibility study has commenced at a project sum of 2.4 million euro for a period of 12 months, APA learnt here Monday.

Zambian Works and Supply Minister Kapembwa Simbao said the MoU between Botswana and Zambia was as a result of the failed MoU signed in 2006 for the construction of the bridge.

“Three heads of State for Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe had signed an MoU in August 2006 but when it became apparent that no progress was being made, Zambia and Botswana withdrew from the tripartite MoU,” Simbao said.

Speaking at a media briefing in Lusaka, Simbao said the signing of the MoU between Zambia and Botswana would also enable the signing of the contract with the consultant doing the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
EDITOR

Against all reason Communications, Science and Technology Minister Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi is hell-bent on introducing the discredited Media Practitioners Bill.

By the time you read this, the minister will have notified Parliament about her intention to introduce the controversial bill for debate. At a time when the bill has elicited such controversial debate the minister is acting rather out of turn. What is even more worrying is that she is using tax pay’s resources to dupe the public by giving them a sanitized and highly partisan view of what this monstrous bill is about. The honourable minister goes around the country to Kgotla meetings telling people that there is sinister about the bill while she fully knows that there is. Minister Moitoi knows that media practitioners are opposed to the bill and we expect her to at least be honest and tell the public that there is strong opposition to her hastily concocted totalitarian bill. If the minister is a democrat who believes in consultations as we think, we expected her to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
RASHWEAT MUKUNDU*

Being Zimbabwean, Botswana is a huge contrast to my situation politically and economically, and indeed that of millions of my country people.

To many of us in Zimbabwe, Botswana is a hub of plenty and Zimbabwe, a desolate place of desperation. Botswana is a democracy and Zimbabwe a dictatorship. All these contrasting images have thus driven millions of my country people, including myself from time to time, to see what life is like in Botswana, buy toothpaste, soap and sugar.

Moreso, Botswana’s stance on the Zimbabwe situation has given us hope and at the same time a major shift on the political map in Southern Africa, that one member state can stand up in defence of the harassed and oppressed. This shift is seismic if we are to look back at where we have come from and the fact that a few years ago it was unheard of and a taboo for an African government to criticise another. Botswana’s stance, and indeed that of many other African governments, Zambia, Liberia and Kenya, marks a first for Africa in creating a [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
STAFF WRITER

Eskom will have more power to supply local users until 2012 after it cuts back power to Botswana as part of a six-year bilateral agreement with the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC).

Last year Eskom entered into a pact with the BPC, under which Eskom will reduce its energy supply to Botswana from 410 megawatts last year to 150MW by 2012. Andrew Etzinger, Eskom’s spokesperson, said last week that the agreement would end in 2012. But this is “not to say that it will not be renewed … Certainly, at this stage, that’s what the agreement is.”Tlhomaniso Selato, a BPC spokesperson, was not able to comment on the agreement.

Meanwhile, CIC Energy plans to supply power from the first 2,500MW phase of the Mmamabula station from early 2013, with full output expected in 2014. The first phase will cost $10 billion (R75 billion).

In April CIC Energy said it planned to spend as [continue reading]

source: BOPA
29 July, 2008

SEROWE – Botswana spends P218 million monthly importing food and other commodities from South Africa. This said by South Africas High Commissioner to Botswana, Mr Dikgang Moopeloa, at the Serowe District Show over the weekend.

Mr Moopeloa challenged local business community commercial farmers to produce more products so that the money could be used to buy from them.

“If you are to produce locally it would be cheaper to sell products because at the moment things are expensive because you buy from South Africa.” Due to the distance between the two countries and other custom charges at the border gates, he said, business people are compelled to charge exorbitant prices.

He implored Batswana to take advantage of the countrys success in beef farming and [continue reading]

source: BOPA
29 July, 2008

KANYE – Ngwaketse South MP, Mr Peter Siele, says the envisaged Integrated Support for Agricultural Development, a new programme to replace ALDEP III, could assist Botswana attain food security.

Mr Siele said this when addressing a kgotla meeting in Mmathethe. He said the programme, expected to commence at the beginning of the next ploughing season, would entail clustering and fencing of both arable and grazing areas, provision of free fertilizers and setting up of service centres.

The initiatives, Mr Siele said, come as a result of exorbitant food prices and government pursuit to make sure there was enough food for every household in the country.

He said the initiative also comes at a time when most countries, particularly Botswanas traditional food suppliers such as South Africa, have turned to bio-fuels. “Even some of the world biggest producers such as Brazil are going the bio-fuel production way due to high oil prices the world over.” Mr Siele, who is minister of Labour and Home Affairs, said the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
FRASER MPOFU
Correspondent

HARARE – Botswana imported 12.5 percent of Zimbabwe’s total manufactured exports last year, a marked decline from 17.6 percent in 2006.

According to a survey covering the whole of last year and conducted by the authoritative Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI), Botswana is the third biggest market for manufactured products from Zimbabwe.

During the same year, South Africa overtook Zambia as the biggest destination for Zimbabwean manufactured goods.

Zimbabwe’s exports to South Africa jumped to 26.8 percent last year, up from 19.6 percent the previous year, says the CZI Manufacturing Sector Survey for 2007 issued last week.The CZI is the sole representative body of manufacturing companies in Zimbabwe with a membership that exceeds 1,000 companies. Zambia imported 23.2 percent of Zimbabwe’s exports last year down from 26.2 in 2006, says the survey.

Zimbabwean exports into Malawi similarly fell from 12.5 in 2006 to 10.7 percent last year while exports to [continue reading]

source: International Herald Tribune
The Associated Press
Published: July 30, 2008

HARARE, Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe announced Wednesday that it is knocking 10 zeros off its hyper-inflated currency — a move that turns 10 billion dollars into one.

President Robert Mugabe threatened a state of emergency if businesses profiteer from the country’s economic crisis, a move that could give him even more sweeping powers to punish opponents in the event that political power-sharing talks fail.

“Entrepreneurs across the board, don’t drive us further,” Mugabe warned in a nationally televised address after the currency announcement. “If you drive us even more, we will impose emergency measures. … They can be tough rules.”

But in a glimmer of possible rapprochement in Zimbabwe’s political turmoil, opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai revealed that he met with Mugabe last week for the first time in years and discussed the “pitfalls in any future government” that might emerge from the negotiations.

He didn’t indicate their meeting produced any agreement, however.
In a conciliatory gesture, Tsvangirai told [continue reading]

source: News24
30/07/2008 11:31 – (SA)

Pretoria – President Thabo Mbeki will travel to Zimbabwe on Wednesday to meet Robert Mugabe as part of his mediation in the country’s crisis talks, officials said.

Mbeki denied on Tuesday that talks between Zimbabwe’s rival parties had reached a deadlock, saying the power-sharing negotiations were going well and negotiators had adjourned to report back to their respective party leaders.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that Mbeki met opposition Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai and his negotiating team in Pretoria on Tuesday.

“The meetings are part of the president’s ongoing SADC-mandated facilitation process in Zimbabwe,” the statement added, referring [continue reading]

source: BOPA
29 July, 2008

SEROWE – An official from the Botswana Technology Centre (BOTEC), Ms Gloria Seitei, has implored Batswana to use solar power because it is free of charge after installation; it is reliable and friendly to the ozone layer.

She said though it is a little expensive to install solar panels and related equipment, users will thereafter derive benefits from the suns energy without any cost.

Ms Seitei told Serowe residents during a kgotla meeting addressed by the Minister of Communications, Science and Technology, Mrs Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi on Thursday that Batswana could also use the photovoltaic energy at their cattle posts.

She said the suns energy could be used to pump water from boreholes. She explained that BOTEC has manufactured a solar-power device for the hearing impaired, which is also exported to other countries.

Mr Richard Shamukuni, an official of the Department of Radiation Protection who was part of the Ministers entourage, took the audience through the dangers of radiation emitting devices such as X-rays commonly used in health facilities and in mineral explorations.

He said the department was mandated to make people aware of the risks posed by radiation and to ensure that its [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
WANETSHA MOSINYI
Staff Writer

Dual-listed energy concern Aviva Corporation says it does not foresee its Mmamantswe project being delayed or downsized as happened to the Mmamabula Energy Project.

In an interview on the sidelines of the Botswana Resource Sector conference last week, Aviva’s Managing Director Lindsay Reed said owing to a smaller size of their project, he does not see them facing the problems that befell Mmamabule.

The Mmamabula project, which includes a coal mine and two 2,500 megawatt power stations, has been downsized because of an almost three-fold increase in costs.

“Our project is quite small compared to theirs,” said Reed, “so I don’t think we will have any problems with EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contractors.”

Reed disclosed that Aviava was waiting for a response from [continue reading]

source: IOL
July 30 2008 at 12:58PM
By Arthi Sanpath

People can expect to access important services through centralised government departments in the near future.

This is according to Zaid Aboo-baker, chief director of the department of public service and administration, who was speaking at the Govtech conference in Durban on Tuesday.

“We don’t want people to be pushed from office to office anymore,” he said.

Aboobaker said the department was involved in a project where information technology communication (ICT) was being used in establishing central points for the applications for identity documents, birth registration, foster child grants, maintenance orders and notice of deaths.

“All these will be electronically enabled, and it will be much faster and efficient,” he said.

He added that the system would not be only about [continue reading]

source: BOPA
29 July, 2008

FRANCISTOWN – North East residents have been asked to join hands with the council in keeping the environment clean to attract investors to the district.

Speaking during the district clean-up competitions at Makaleng, the North East District Council chief public health officer, Dr George Wembo pleaded with residents to report those who litter the environment.

He said some people deliberately litter the environment under the pretext that they were creating employment for refuse collectors.

Dr Wembo said the competitions theme challenges everyone to work collectively to achieve vision 2016, which calls for effective measures that will facilitate the utilization of waste in a sustainable way for prosperity.

This years theme is, “Your waste , my waste, our concern towards a clean and safe Botswana Thinking 2016″THINKING 2016”.

Dr Wembo said the theme calls for every individual to commit themselves to [continue reading]

source: Telegraph
By Felix Lowe
Last Updated: 3:31pm BST 29/07/2008

De Beers, the world’s leading diamond miner, has opened its first two mines outside of Africa – but faces legal action in Botswana over a shareholder disagreement.

The mines at Snap Lake and Victor, in Canada’s Northwest Territories and Northern Ontario respectively, cost over a $1bn each to build and are expected to produce two million carats per annum.

Nicky Oppenheimer, chairman of the De Beers Group, said: “This is an exciting moment in the history of De Beers. Never before have we opened two mines at the same time and never before have we opened a mine outside of Africa.”
# De Beers warning as demand slows

In line with the group’s beneficiation policy, De Beers will make available for sale 10pc, by value, of diamonds from the two mines for local cutting and polishing.

Canada is the world’s third largest diamond producer, based on [continue reading]