Archive for October 27th, 2008

source: Standay Standard
by Kagiso Madibana
26.10.2008 7:49:01 P

A company in Johannesburg is now offering Batswana a chance to buy strategic land in the United Kingdom (UK).
With prices ranging from as little as 200 000 pula, one can own property in the queen’s land.

Strategic land is land that has been recognized for its high potential to secure resigning for potential use within 2-7 years.
Some Batswana didn’t fail to make use of the opportunities offered by the south-african company at the country’s global exposition held recently at Ditshupo.

More than 4 plots of the ‘secure investment’ were sold during the exposition that bought together viable different business entrepreneurs from all over the globe.
According to their reports, about 46 plots are available for Batswana.

Luckily for those interested in venturing [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

The Assistant Minister of Works and Transport, Frank Ramsden says the development of the Trans-Kgalagadi Highway (TKH) presents “a good opportunity for the enhanced utilisation of the Port of Walvis Bay by Botswana and other SADC countries” and that a rail link to the Atlantic coast is also being considered.

In a keynote address at an information session hosted by the Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG) in Gaborone recently, Ramsden said the corridor links the Port of Walvis to Gaborone and Gauteng, South Africa’s industrial heartland.

“Botswana is in the process of carrying out feasibility studies on the proposed Trans-Kgalagadi Railway (TKR), which would for the first time provide a rail link connection between eastern Botswana and port facilities in the Atlantic Coast of Namibia, Walvis Bay,” Ramsden disclosed.

“The project is scheduled to start in a year or two,” he said, noting that the railway line will mainly be used for [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
The Monitor (Kampala)
26 October 2008
Walter Wafula

As the impact of the global financial crisis continues to be felt all over the world, the African Development Bank has invited African finance ministers and central bank Governors for a conference at which they will discuss possible solutions for the continent.

The meeting which will be held on November 12 in Tunis, Tunisia has been organised in cooperation with the African Union Commission, according to a statement released through the Pan African News Agency on Friday.

“The upcoming conference in Tunis will enable African finance ministers and development experts to share perspectives on how to deal with the crisis, should it show up on the continent’s shores,” the statement from AfDB said. In addition, the organisers said a joint decision will show how determined the continent is in planning ahead.

“Africa might have been spared in the short term; it may not go untouched in the long run as its [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

This is how the alcohol debate was killed. An elderly woman this week told a Kgotla gathering in Charles Hill that if she had her way, the truck that occasionally rolls into the village with hundreds of litres of Chibuku would be turned back before it reaches the depot.

It was one of those moments in the program when members of the public get a chance to talk to their ‘servant’ as politicians like to call themselves. In this case the people were talking to Vice President, Mompati Merafhe,’about matters close to their heart’.

As the largely elderly public took time to attack alcohol consumption, Merafhe somehow took the role of a defender of those who imbibe the liquid, explaining that he did not have a problem with those who drink in moderation, but rather, he was against the abuse of alcohol.

A week earlier, 600 or so kilometres further, and at least two or three generations younger Btv’s youthful presenter, Brian Dioka, mused on ‘The Morning Show’ on Btv after yet another chat with an official on the issue of alcoholism in the country: “After this break, we will come back again to [continue reading]

Bathandwa Mbola
27 October 2008

The Heads of State from 26 African countries belonging to three regional economic blocs in East and Southern Africa have resolved to merge the three into a single regional market.

The summit, which took place in Kampala, Uganda, last week, brought together leaders from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa), the East African Community (EAC), and the Southern African Development Community.

They called for a Council of Ministers to be convened within twelve months time, to determine the time frame for the establishment of a single regional economic community.

Their resolution will see the creation of a free trade bloc and a single customs union stretching from South Africa to Egypt and from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Kenya.

South African President Kgalema Motlanthe, who joined the leaders as SADC chairperson, said the launch of the free trade bloc would place the African continent in a stronger position to respond effectively to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

In an unusual confession, the Gaborone City Council (GCC) says it only remembered last year when a new Principal Commercial Officer took charge that it had P1.2 million in uncollected rental arrears from its five marketplaces around the city.

For 18 years, traders at the various GCC market stalls have used the facilities and associated services like water rent-free, courtesy of laxity prevalent at the capital city’s municipality.

The traders, characteristically from the lower end of the social strata, have not been billed for rent since 1990 when the first marketplaces were occupied. Although the rent is as little as P45 to P55 per stall per month and have not been revised for almost two decades, the arrears totalled P1.2 million by the end of last year because they go back to 18 years.

The man credited with discovering the overwhelming sloppiness, the Principal Commercial Officer Eric Raphalane Makgatlhe, says GCC has only itself to blame. “To address the problem, the Gaborone City Council is in the process of evicting illegal occupants and those who are in arrears and [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
26.10.2008 8:15:33 P

After delays prompted by a dispute between two shareholders in Boteti, mine construction at AK6 project is being fast tracked to the second quarter of next year following the granting of a mining license, developers of the diamond mine project have confirmed.

James Campbell, the managing director of African Diamonds, which holds 28 percent in the Boteti JV, told Sunday Standard that after granting of mine license by Department of Mines in Botswana, the project will go ahead.

“This (the granting of the mining license) means that construction of the AK6 project will proceed and the mine will be developed,” Campbell said on Thursday. “Currently the project team and contractors are being re-engaged, with construction beginning Q2 2009.”

A fortnight ago, the Government of Botswana released terms of mining license for [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) expects to create at least 500 new jobs for innovative rural people through the commercial provision of basic energy services project by next year.

The project uses solar energy and efficient cooking appliances.
It is estimated that 50,000 rural customers will benefit directly from the project, an innovative Public-Private Partnership (PPP) meant to licence local entrepreneurs to deliver an exciting new range of energy services to customers in the countryside. The initiative dubbed ‘Re Batswana’ is a collaboration between the government and the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

It will be coordinated by a BPC Company called BPC Lesedi. The company will operate a national franchise network to [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)
27 October 2008
Siseko Njobeni

THE global financial crisis will not affect Eskom’s liquidity in this financial year, thanks to its cash resources, local bonds issued, export credit facilities, and money from local and international development finance institutions, the company said on Friday.

Eskom has indicated that about 60% of the money it hopes to raise for its R343bn capital expansion programme would be offshore.

The credit crisis has raised questions about the utility’s ability to raise the money, which it said earlier this year could be up to R150bn. “For every borrower, access to funding will be more challenging and the cost of funding will be higher.

“For Eskom specifically our liquidity situation this current financial year until March 31 2009 is adequate to meet our commitments due to our available cash resources, local bonds issued, export credit facilities and [continue reading]

source: AFP

HARARE (AFP) — Zimbabwe’s ZANU-PF chief negotiator in the power-sharing talks issued a stark warning to opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai ahead of key talks Monday on a unity government.

“If Tsvangirai does not stop campaigning for sanctions against Zimbabwe to further cripple the country’s economy, then we are headed for trouble,” Patrick Chinamasa told AFP.

And he warned Tsvangirai against a boycott of the talks, after he failed to attend last Monday’s meeting of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in Swaziland.

“We trust that Tsvangirai will not treat Monday’s troika meeting with the same contempt and utter disrespect that he did with the Swaziland meeting,”

Another boycott by him will irreversibly strain ZANU-PF’s patience and will be the [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
26.10.2008 8:13:45 P

Although Botswana has acted on the recommendations of the 2004 World Bank report on the country’s investment climate, on the ground, it seems it is the same old story of the more things change the more they remain the same.

A new report by the World Bank, titled Doing Business 2009, has shown that since the country moved to correct impediments of doing business in Botswana, the reforms have moved the country from position 52 in the world to 38 in terms of ease of doing business.

However, government critics say that the reforms still remain a myth since there are still long queues at the Registrar of Companies, which shows that it still takes someone two weeks or more to register a company.

The organised business, which deals with businesspeople on a [continue reading]

Khama`s tractors are coming

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

When President Ian Khama promised to give farmers tractors a few months ago, sceptics doubted whether he would keep his word considering the cost of the machinery and the size of the country. But now the promise is being fulfilled.

Khama has come up with an arable farming programme that will see government hiring tractors to plough farmers’ lands for free. The move is meant to revive arable farming and improve food security.

The government director of Crop Production Molatlhegi Modise said they will be banking on tractor owners to make sure the scheme succeeds. He said it will be almost impossible for the government to procure tractors from other sources in time for the ploughing season.

He said government has cut down its initial budget to buy 120 tractors by half and that is why they will rely on [continue reading]

source: IOL
October 26 2008 at 11:06AM

The South African education system is structurally dysfunctional and fails to prepare learners for the work environment, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) said on Saturday.

“Education is in a sorry state… The present system does not address the shortage of educators in the fields of mathematics, science and technical subjects,” national party chairperson Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi said.

“Many of our educational institutions have become havens of drug abuse, violence, teenage pregnancies and immoral behaviour.”

kaMagwaza-Msibi was addressing a gathering of civil servants in Durban Manor.

He said the country was in need of an all encompassing, “diversified education system”.

“In order to achieve quality education, we must develop and nurture a highly qualified, highly motivated and adequately remunerated profession of educators.”

kaMagwaza-Msibi criticised the [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
26.10.2008 8:18:02 P

After it failed to reach a deal with a preferred Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor that has delayed Mmamabula Export Energy Project, CIC Energy officials say they are still locked in negotiations for a cheaper solution in Asia.

This will allay fears from investors that CIC Energy being quiet might validate fears that the project might be abandoned for fear of costs as experienced by the Tati Activox in Francistown that was postponed because of costs.

The spokesperson for CIC Energy venture capitalists—Tau Capital Corp, Sabina Srubiski, told Sunday Standard on Friday that since they last made an update mid this year on the Mmamabula Energy Project, the ‘project remains on track’.
“CIC Energy’s negotiations with a select group of Asian EPC contractors are ongoing and are expected to be concluded before the end of 2008 with the announcement of a preferred contractor,” revealed Srubiski.

Mmamabula energy project developed complications after the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Over the past few months, government has been using every platform to propagate its strong stance against alcohol and to advocate for a sober nation.

The latest call came at the Botswana National Youth Council annual general assembly held in Mogoditshane where Deputy permanent secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture Mothusi Nkgowe had to act because youth are now being driven into socio-economic ill by alcohol, drug and substance abuse.

“Instead of going to the bars and get ourselves senselessly intoxicated or loitering hopelessly until criminal ideas catch up with us, why don’t we mobilise ourselves into teams and ‘green up’ Gaborone. I mean it literally,” said Nkgowe.

He said such an initiative would grow fast and [continue reading]