Archive for July 11th, 2008

source: Mmegi

Registration of all prepaid mobile phone sim-cards starts on September 15, 2008, the Botswana Telecommunications Authority (BTA) has said.

The exercise will be completed in 17 months and those who would not have registered their sim cards by then will be disconnected. They will be required to purchase new ones. The registration exercise will run until December 31, 2009.

BTA Chief Executive, Thari Pheko, announced said at a press conference on Wednesday morning that the registration will involve taking the identity details of the owner of the sim-card.

He said the registration will serve to help in the fight against crime by availing information on each sim-card.

This will allow the tracking of people who use cellphones to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The media fraternity has reacted with mixed feelings to the announcement that the details of owners of all prepaid sim-cards will be registered.

The announcement was made by Botswana Telecommunications Authority (BTA) Chief Executive Officer, Thari Pheko, at a press conference on Wednesday morning. He said the registration is meant to make it easy to track owners of sim-cards whenever the need arises.

A journalist at the press conference asked whether the registration was not part of plans by state security agents to keep tabs on people. He said that given the context of the announcement, the initiative may be abused by elements in the security intelligence community. However Pheko replied that the initiative is normal and is line with international practice. He asserted that the BTA is not beholden to any institution.

Sunday Standard journalist Reuben Pitse told Mmegi that he found no problem with the system. “As somebody who is against crime, I would say this is a good thing. The current system where [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Tichaona Sibanda
10 July 2008

Preliminary talks that will set the agenda for substantive negotiations between the MDC and Zanu-PF began in Pretoria, South Africa on Thursday.

Both sides have set pre-conditions for the revival of the negotiations, under the mediation of President Thabo Mbeki. The Tsvangirai MDC is demanding the March elections be used as the basis for negotiations, while Mugabe is saying the opposition must accept his re-election. The issue of the violence remains a major sticking point.

MDC regional officer Nqobizitha Mlilo told us they are remaining steadfast that their conditions have to be met, before any serious negotiations can take place.

‘The MDC is simply restating it’s position to whoever is, or wants to have a stake in the resolution of the crisis. The conditions have to be met,’ said Mlilo.

He added that the decision by the MDC to meet with the Zanu-PF negotiators, to define the terms for an agreement and to maintain communications, should not be seen as giving in to the regime.

‘I understand there might be some resistance from other quarters not to negotiate with Zanu-PF while our members are still being bludgeoned countrywide. These talks are about hearing what Zanu-PF has to offer and to hear what the MDC is offering.’

Both parties have been under pressure to [continue reading]

source: IOL
Peter Fabricius
July 10 2008 at 12:23PM

President Thabo Mbeki has pointed out that G8 leaders have expressed support for his controversial mediation in the Zimbabwe crisis.

The 2008 G8 summit ended in Japan on Wednesday.

He was apparently responding to reports that his mediation had been slighted.

Mbeki said the G8 leaders as a whole, in a meeting with African leaders, and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, in a one-on-one meeting with Mbeki, had supported his effort.

Mbeki was speaking in an interview with the SABC at the summit. The G8 leaders have been widely interpreted as giving Mbeki a slap in the face over his quiet diplomacy in Zimbabwe by recommending that a special UN envoy should be appointed on Zimbabwe.

One of his or her tasks would be to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

HARARE: Zimbabwe’s Minister of Information and Publicity, Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, says his country will not be moved by criticism from Botswana, saying President Robert Mugabe’s government will only listen to the collective voice of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Briefing journalists, he said Zimbabwe appreciates constructive criticism from any quarter, but insisted that because Botswana did not fight a liberation struggle, the country’s leadership may not properly appreciate British and the West’s machinations against Zimbabwe.

“We appreciate positive criticism from anyone, including our neighbours such as Botswana,” said Ndlovu.

“But Botswana did not fight a war to liberate themselves from colonialism and so we feel that we as Zimbabweans experience Western machinations more than they,” the Minister said.

Botswana, together with Zambia, has in recent weeks criticised the Zimbabwe government over the way it conducted [continue reading]

Ndaba Dlamini
10 July 2008

Fifa is confident that South Africa’s preparations for the 2010 World Cup are adequate and there is no immediate plan to take the tournament to another country.

This was said by the secretary-general of the world football governing body, Jerome Valcke, after a 2010 Local Organising Committee (LOC) board meeting in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

Valcke’s comments come after reports that Fifa president Sepp Blatter had said there was, after all, a “plan B” in place in the event of South Africa failing to host the world’s most popular sports tournament.

As the international football governing body, Valcke said, Fifa had a mandate to have measures in place in case a natural catastrophe occurred in a country which was due to host an event of this size. It was only in the event of a natural disaster that Fifa would put in place a plan B, he stressed.

“I can give an example of China, which was supposed to host the women’s soccer World Cup in 2003. That event had to be moved to the United States because of [continue reading]

source: IOL
July 10 2008 at 10:09AM

By Lebogang Seale

Joburg’s Soccer City stadium is steadily taking shape amid concerns about Fifa’s “plan B” should South Africa not be in a position to host the 2010 World Cup.

Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke was visibly excited on Wednesday when he caught a glimpse of the construction progress at the country’s World Cup flagship stadium, which will host both the opening and closing ceremonies.

“It’s a huge and beautiful stadium,” said Valcke, flanked by the stadium’s project manager, Mike Moody, and 2010 local organising committee chief Danny Jordaan.

Perched on the newly erected southern grandstand, where he enjoyed a panoramic view of the stadium, Valcke said he was very happy with the progress.

“The spectators will watch matches in the best conditions,” he said as he looked at the [continue reading]

source: BBC News

Fifa president Sepp Blatter has spoken to three countries about hosting the 2010 World Cup if a natural catastrophe forces it away from South Africa.

Concerns are mounting about South Africa’s preparations for the hosting of the tournament.

“I have spoken to three possible, not only possible, but three associations and countries that would be able to stage the World Cup.

“They need one year (to prepare),” Blatter told Sky News.

Blatter would not reveal the three countries.

On Tuesday South Africa decided to drop the Port Elizabeth stadium from next June’s Confederations Cup, as it will not be ready in time.

World Cup preparations have been [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The privatisation of the National Development Bank (NDB) gathered momentum this week when government announced that the Nedbank Capital of South Africa has won the tender to develop a strategy for the transaction.

The Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) announced yesterday that following a recommendation from Public Enterprises Evaluation and Privatisation Agency (PEEPA), the tender for the P4.4 million advisory services for NDB privatisation has been awarded to Nedbank Capital, a subsidiary of the Nedbank Group.

Nedbank provides seamless specialist advice, debt and equity raising and execution and trading capabilities in all the major South African business sectors. Its principal clients include the top 200 domestic corporates in South Africa, parastatals, leading financial institutions, non-South African multinational corporates and clients undertaking major infrastructure and mining projects in Africa, as well as emerging Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) consortiums.

NDB will become the first government owned financial institution to be privatised in Botswana. This will [continue reading]

source: The Citizen
By Beldina Nyakeke

The Botswana government is seeking to recruit about 150 science teachers and college tutors from Tanzania, with salary promises of between Sh14 and 24 million every year for the posts.

The Southern Africa country is also looking for about 30 engineers in various fields to fill positions within its public service with equally attractive earnings rising up to Sh36 million per year for successful candidates.

The salary packages will attract several qualified local teachers, especially within the public service, who are taking home monthly salaries of less than $400. Botswana is offering about $1,000 a month for the teachers, among other benefits.

According to an advertisement that appeared in The Citizen yesterday, the successful candidates would also be entitled to other expatriate benefits, including free furnished housing, free medical cover for the successful professionals and their families and free transport to and from their work stations.

A Nairobi, Kenya based company, Productivity Management Associates, would do the search on behalf of the Botswana government.

The country is one of the most stable economies in [continue reading]

source: News24
10/07/2008 21:13 – (SA)

London – Britain announced on Thursday that it was considering expanding visa requirements to citizens from 11 additional countries including South Africa.

Nationals from more than 100 countries, equivalent to three-quarters of the world’s population, need a visa to come to the United Kingdom.

But following a “Visa Waiver Test” of all non-European countries, the government said there was a “strong case” to add 11 more.

These are: Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Lesotho, Malaysia, Mauritius, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela.

The test looked at the level of risk nationals from countries posed in terms of illegal immigration, and crime and security.

Britain said visitors from these countries would now need a six-month visa. That would become a permanent requirement unless the [continue reading]