Archive for July 15th, 2008

source: Mmegi
By Brian Benza
Staff Writer

Botswana has the potential to attain food security is all stakeholders are actively involved in agriculture, Vice President, Mompati Merafhe has said.

Speaking at the official opening of Botswana’s first jointly owned citizen milk producing company, Delta Dairies, in Gaborone last Thursday, Merafhe said that there is a glaring need to increase food production in the country, especially in light of the looming increased shortages due to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Botswana currently imports about 80 percent of its food requirements mainly from South Africa.

“Our agricultural sector is currently facing a lot of challenges and government is trying to take the necessary steps to address this issue, particularly with further shortages looming. We should use every opportunity presented to source food locally and that is why we need to invest more in agricultural production.

“For Botswana to achieve this dream everyone needs to be actively involved and today I am calling on the private sector to invest more in [continue reading]

source: SouthAfrica.info
15 July 2008

Vodacom, South Africa’s largest cellular network by subscriber numbers, is diversifying into the multimedia market, following its acquisition of a 40% stake in Zoopy.com, a local social networking and community website.

Zoopy.com, which was launched in March 2007, allows its users to upload and share videos, photographs, podcasts and blogs.

Vodacom said that the social networking website had taken less than a year to establish itself as a significant player in the user-generated content space in Africa.

Nokia, the world’s largest cellphone manufacturer, selected Zoopy.com as their regional imaging partner for South and West Africa, while more recently, the Mail & Guardian chose the website as its online video delivery partner.

Vodacom Ventures MD Tlhabeli Ralebitso said the investment was an important move, which came at “just the right time” for both parties.

“Zoopy.com has established itself as a key role-player in the online social media arena and has a growing community that will [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
By Bame Piet
Staff Writer

Almost all fire engines at the Gaborone City Council (GCC) are grounded, Monitor investigations have revealed.

Of the 22 fire engines at GCC, only two are operational but with serious mechanical defects.

The situation is not helped by discontent at the department. Junior officers claim that their seniors are out of control and behave as they please. A letter allegedly written to the city clerk by the disgruntled employees states that there is factionalism and maladministration at the department.

“The most surprising and so concerning (sic) thing is that we are operating with only two fire engines, which are also not reliable as they breakdown every now and then,” states the letter. The employees allege that the single ambulance the department had, broke down a long time ago and has never been repaired or replaced.

The City Clerk was not available for comment on Friday as she was said to be in a workshop. The acting deputy clerk denied any knowledge of the letter before abruptly hanging up the phone. The Chief Fire Officer could not be reached for comment over [continue reading]

source: IOL
July 15 2008 at 08:33AM

By Sharika Regchand

Business in KwaZulu-Natal faces another costly challenge – transport services could be severely disrupted on August 4 so that people can be bused from all over the province to support ANC President Jacob Zuma when he appears in the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

The KwaZulu-Natal Transport Alliance plans to halt normal operations on that day.

This follows last week’s Cosatu strike in KwaZulu-Natal and a planned nationwide stayaway next month over rising food and fuel prices.

Alliance chairperson Eugene Hadebe said a meeting would be held on Wednesday when arrangements would be made.

“Everybody will be attending the case. We are all going to Pietermaritzburg with Zuma,” he said, adding that they intended to make transport available to convey people “from anywhere” to court.

This meant that taxis would not be operating on [continue reading]

source: SouthAfrica.info
15 July 2008

The Banking Association of South Africa and the South African Savings Institute are to pilot the Teach Children to Save initiative on 25 July, in an effort to encourage youngsters increase their financial awareness and to start saving earlier in their lives.

The Teach Children to Save Day has been sponsored in the USA by the American Bankers Association Education Foundation (ABAEF) since 1997, and the highly successful programme is now being piloted in South Africa, Mexico and Turkey.

“In South Africa, the pilot project will lay the groundwork for an ongoing annual event that will highlight the important role that volunteer bankers [and] financial sector professionals can play in educating our nation’s youth about the lifelong habit of saving,” says the Banking Association of SA.

The South African version of the campaign, which is supported by the national education department, has lessons that are aimed at students in [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
By Lekopanye Mooketsi
Correspondent

President Ian Khama took to the dusty streets of Gaborone West on Saturday morning and later addressed a Kgotla meeting at Phase IV customary court.

The president brought traffic to a stop and it was chock-a-block on the streets as people shoved to get a glimpse of him or shake his hand.

The Khama entourage started their walk from a filling station opposite Trade World wholesalers. The president was geared up in casual clothing and just looked like an ordinary man on the street. People could not believe their eyes when they saw the president walking with a group of officials without a uniformed soldier in sight. There were ululations and jubilations as residents welcomed the “people’s president”.

Amongst others, Khama was accompanied by the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Gladys Kokorwe, Minister of Lands and Housing, Nonofo Molefhi, the MP for the area, Robert Molefhabangwe and senior Gaborone City Council officials.

The tour took them through the high-density area of Phase I where Khama was mobbed by people on the streets. Khama was idolised like a pop star. Delighted members of the public, ranging from elderly people to children, lined up on the streets to shake the president’s hand. Some of them could not believe their “luck” as one [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Alex Bell
14 July 2008

As floods of Zimbabwean refugees of political violence continue to stream into South Africa, the United Nations refugee agency has called on President Thabo Mbeki’s government to stop deporting Zimbabweans until the crisis there has been resolved.

According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the number of Zimbabweans seeking asylum in South Africa has increased since the June 27 run off, when Robert Mugabe snatched back power.

UNHCR spokesperson Jennifer Pagonis told reporters on Friday that the agency is seeing “an increasing number of families arriving as a result of political violence, with several people showing signs of beatings or torture.” Many new arrivals are entering the country through unauthorized border points, making it difficult to know the numbers involved.

Pagonis said: “The High Commissioner is reiterating his appeal to South Africa to halt all deportations of Zimbabweans and ensure that those seeking asylum should have access to the national asylum procedures”.

She added that UNHCR is continuing “to urge South Africa to exceptionally grant Zimbabweans a temporary legal status allowing them to stay in the country, an option which is foreseen in national legislation”.
It is estimated that in the last 40 days alone, some 17,000 Zimbabweans have been deported from [continue reading]

source: NewZimbabwe.com

Last updated: 07/15/2008 06:39:12
AFRICAN Union Commission chief Jean Ping will hold an emergency meeting on the political crisis in Zimbabwe with South African President Thabo Mbeki, a source said Monday.

Ping “is in Paris but is due to urgently change his plans to attend an emergency meeting in Pretoria with Mbeki on Zimbabwe,” an African Union source said, adding that he was expected in the South African capital later Monday.

“This meeting is aimed at accelerating the implementation of a resolution (of an AU summit in Egypt) on power sharing in Zimbabwe,” the source said.

Zimbabwe’s rival parties have been holding talks in South Africa following [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by SUNDAY STANDARD REPORTER
13.07.2008 10:37:56 A

Neo Moroka, Trade and Industry minister, hailed the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) that are currently being negotiated between Africa, Caribbean and Pacific countries and expressed hope that the Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states, which have not yet initialed, will ultimately do so.

Speaking at a press conference, which he jointly addressed with Gareth Thomas, a British member of parliament who sits on trade committees, Moroka said he is actively talking to his counterparts in the region and he hopes that they will ultimately join.
“The impression that I get when talking to the South African Trade minister is that they are willing to be part of SADC,” he said.

Angola, Namibia and South Africa (ANS) group have raised concerns over the current frame-work of negotiations throwing the SADC block into two camps. Angola and South Africa have not yet initialed the agreement but Namibia has, although it has raised [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
By Kabo Mokgoabone
Staff Writer

Botswana and Britain wish to see the successful conclusion of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) currently being negotiated between the European Union (EU) and regional blocks in the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) region.

Neo Moroka, Botswana’s Trade Minister and his UK counterpart, Gareth Thomas, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Trade and Consumer Affairs in the UK, said at a joint press conference last Thursday that they are optimistic that a deal will be reached.

“I am optimistic that a deal can be reached,” said Thomas. “Jobs will be created and that is the number one price for the EPAs”. Added Moroka, who is also coordinator of SADC EPA group: “I am committed to the EPAs. There will be more jobs and opportunities for Botswana businesses and its beef”. The European Union’s 27 member states are currently negotiating a World Trade Organisation (WTO) a compatible trade regime with 76 ACP countries to replace the Cotonou agreement that expired in December 31 2007.

These negotiations have not been smooth as the ACP anti globalisation movements and lobby groups have given the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
By Kabo Mokgoabone
Staff Writer

If trade and industry Minister, Neo Moroka, who doubles as the Coordinator for SADC-EPA negotiating group were Robert Mugabe, he would have told South Africa to ‘go hang’ over its behaviour towards the ongoing Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) negotiations.

However, the minister was diplomatic last week at a press conference suggesting that South Africa’s concerns concerning the negotiations be listened to.

“We have initialled the EPAs without South Africa and we can go ahead without South Africa,” says Moroka. He later changed his mind: “They (South Africa) want to be part of the EPA and they are talking to the European Union (EU) on negotiations. “There is generally a willingness to be part of the EPAs. Let us wait and see. It will not be fair if I say we will sign without them (South Africa).” Moroka says concerns raised by members will be taken on board in parallel negotiations for a [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
UN Integrated Regional Information Networks
14 July 2008
Posted to the web 14 July 2008

Johannesburg

With more South African doctors now working abroad than in the country’s ailing public health sector, the government needs to start aggressively recruiting health workers from other countries, according to a non-profit recruitment organisation.

Dr Clarence Mini, of Africa Health Placements, which specialises in placing public-health professionals, told a national tuberculosis conference in the port city of Durban earlier this month that more than 4,000 doctor’s posts were currently unfilled in South Africa’s state hospitals, while 3,000 South African-qualified doctors are working in the United Kingdom and 2,000 in the United States.

Health workers have become a highly mobile resource that countries have to compete for, Mini told delegates. First-world countries that offered better salaries and working conditions have managed to attract the lion’s share of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
By Fraser Mpofu
Correspondent

HARARE: Zimbabwean fresh produce suppliers are scouting for markets in the region and beyond after their biggest customer, Tesco of Britain stopped buying from them.

The suppliers are exploring markets in South Africa, Botswana and Asia to fill the huge void left by Tesco, Europe’s largest supermarket chain. The supermarket buys 50 percent of fresh produce from Zimbabwe. The business earns Zimbabwean suppliers an estimated US$2 million per year.

Last week, Tesco announced that it will no longer buy from Zimbabwe after a warning from the British Foreign Office. The Foreign Office has asked British companies with business interests in Zimbabwe to look carefully at their investments. A spokesman for Fresh Produce Producers Association of Zimbabwe said in Harare that Tesco’s decision will hit its members hard. He said his organisation has [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by SUNDAY STANDARD REPORTER
13.07.2008 10:41:47 A

Fitch Ratings, one of the top five credit rating agencies in the world, appealed to the Botswana companies to get ratings in an attempt to improve liquidity in the market as a way of putting the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) on the 21st century map.

“You cannot have a fully-fledged capital market without rating. If you want to tap into the most sophisticated market, then you need a rating,” Tertius Smith of Fitch Ratings South Africa said Thursday.

Fitch Ratings is one of the ivy-league rating agencies in the world and currently works with 6054 financial institutions around the world, namely: Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe and the United States of America.

The institutions are covered from 49 offices that are sprawled across the world.

“Credit rating enables you access to the debt capital markets and broadens the investor base.

“We do not just work on the basis of financial statements. We sit down with the corporations and management and, after that, we assign a rating for the entity,” Smith added.

The company boosts of a critical mass of experts who are the final people to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
BRIAN BENZA
Staff Writer

Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) listed A-Cap Resources has announced an increased inferred uranium resource of 390 percent at its Letlhakane project.

The development will hasten the opening of the first ever uranium mine in the country. On Tuesday, a statement from the company said that the new resource, prepared in compliance with the JORC Code, covers approximately 9km by 3km to a maximum depth of 70m and has been calculated by SRK Consulting as part of the Letlhakane Project scoping study.

The scoping study is now anticipated to be finalised in mid-2008.
A-Cap managing director, Dr Andrew Tunks said that at a cut-off grade of 100ppm of the Inferred Mineral Resource is estimated at 280 million tonnes.

“These figures represent a 330 percent increase in tonnes and a 13 percent increase in grade leading to an 390 percent increase in contained metal at the same cut-off (100ppm) when compared to the [continue reading]