Archive for December 8th, 2008

source: Standay Standard
06.12.2008 2:12:08 P

JOHANNESBURG: At a time when projects around the world that are project financed are suspended because of a squeeze from global credit crunch, developers of the Mmamabula Export Energy Project might avoid falling into the trap.
Executives for the largest greenfield energy project in Africa said here on Thursday that they are targeting sovereign lenders not commercial banks like what other projects developers are doing for source of funding.

“Definitely, the financial crisis will affect the building of new power plants. Most of them are financed through commercial banks and they have to suspend the projects,” Gregory Kinross, CIC Energy President and CEO, told select journalists from Johannesburg and Gaborone.

However, the promoters are looking at international development agencies that are not necessarily affected by the financial crisis. The credit crunch originated in the US Wall Street as a result of a [continue reading]

source: Yahoo News
Associated Press Writer
Sun Dec 7, 11:38 am ET

NAIROBI, Kenya – Foreign troops should prepare to intervene in Zimbabwe to end a worsening humanitarian crisis and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe should be investigated for crimes against humanity, the Kenyan prime minister said Sunday.

Raila Odinga, in the latest sign of growing international frustration over Zimbabwe’s slide into chaos, urged the African Union to call an emergency meeting to authorize sending troops into Zimbabwe.

“If no troops are available, then the AU must allow the U.N. to send its forces into Zimbabwe with immediate effect, to take over control of the country and ensure urgent humanitarian assistance to the people dying of cholera,” he said.

More than 500 Zimbabweans have officially died of the disease since an outbreak in [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Melbourne-based uranium giants A-Cap Resources have announced they are sticking to their original timetable to develop their uranium resources in Botswana, despite challenges posed by the global financial crisis.

The company yesterday announced its plans for the continued development of the Letlhakane Uranium Project towards becoming Botswana’s first uranium mine in 2011.
The company’s recently published Scoping Study (released to the ASX on October 17 2008) indicates the project is financially robust with an operating cost of US$29/lb. “An operating cost of US$29/lb would represent an operating margin of over US$25/lb in comparison to the current uranium oxide spot price of US$55/lb and over US$40/lb when considering the current long-term contract price of (US$70/lb),” says the company’s CEO Andrew Tunks in a statement.

“Important stages in the progression of the project from [continue reading]

source: IOL
December 08 2008 at 02:34PM

The number of cholera cases continued to increase in Limpopo over the weekend, the provincial health department said on Monday.

Spokesperson Phuti Seloba said the number of cases reported in the province since mid-November now stood at 633. On Friday, this number was 515.

Eight people have died of the illness in the province in the same time period.

Seloba said there were currently 57 people in hospital.

He said the number of people crossing the border to seek treatment continued to fluctuate, making it difficult to estimate how many more people might come into the country to seek treatment.

“We are not in charge. The cholera is not in South Africa. The breakout is in Zimbabwe. We don’t know how many may [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

FRANCISTOWN: Despite the cut in transport fares by the Department of Roads Transport and Safety (DRTS) on December 1, taxi and combi operators here are still charging old fares.

Commuters are crying foul but the operators are sticking to their guns, claiming they are unaware of the changes.

The operators have resorted to forcing commuters to pay immediately they board the bus/taxi. Although the government gazetted the revised rates late last month, and were widely announced in the media, the operators say they were not informed “otherwise we could be charging the new prices. We don’t know what you are talking about. It is all hearsay,” said one taxi operator plying the Bluetown route. The conduct of the operators has put them on a collision course with commuters. But it seems commuters have given up the fight.

“It was on Wednesday evening when we [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Bashi Letsididi
06.12.2008 2:16:51 P

With diamond revenues dwindling – income for distribution to the government from diamond mining will fall by about 65 percent by the end of NDP 11 in 2022 and decline to near zero by the end of 2028 – councils have been called upon to devise means of raising their own money.

Councillors in Lobatse are already dreaming big about what might be possible for them. Specially-Elected councillor, Malebogo Kruger, suggested that the town council should provide services directly to the town’s residents.

“As politicians, we should dream. I am licenced to dream and positively. I can dream and technocrats will sieve out what is feasible from what is not,” Kruger said at a workshop for councillors last week.
One of her dreams is that the Lobatse Town Council should be able to provide services like water and electricity directly to residents.

Apparently, the idea is not far-fetched because that is exactly what happens in [continue reading]

8 December 2008

South Africa’s internet user base has seen its highest rate of growth since 2001, increasing by 12.5% to 4.5-million over the past year, according to the Internet Access in South Africa 2008 study by local internet research firm World Wide Worx.

The study was backed by US-based Cisco Systems, and the findings were released during the Networkers at Cisco Live! conference in Johannesburg last week.

“The increase comes on the eve of the biggest shake-up in South African internet access we’ve seen since the dawn of the commercial internet in 1994,” World Wide Worx MD Arthur Goldstuck said in a statement last week.

“It is only the beginning of a dramatic turnaround, and is occurring despite numerous obstacles in the way of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Increasingly strained diplomatic relations between Botswana and Zimbabwe have compelled the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security investigating team to meet authorities in Gaborone next Thursday.

The investigating team was appointed following a November 5, meeting of the Organ Troika held in Maputo, Mozambique, in which Zimbabwe lodged a complaint that Botswana was giving military training to youth from the opposition MDC-T to fight the government.
Botswana has consistently dismissed such claims, inviting the SADC commission to come and investigate. The investigating team’s terms of reference (ToR) were approved at the SADC Extra-Ordinary Summit held in Johannesburg on November 9. Slightly over a week later, the team started its investigations in Gaborone.

Zimbabwe expects the investigating team and Botswana representatives to attend what was described as [continue reading]

source: Reuters
By MacDonald Dzirutwe

HARARE (Reuters) – Zimbabwe’s government has accused former colonial ruler Britain of using a cholera epidemic to rally Western support for an invasion of the collapsing southern African nation, a state-run newspaper said on Sunday.

President Robert Mugabe is under mounting pressure from the international community, especially Western nations which accuse him of ruining the once prosperous country and exposing its people to famine and disease.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has branded Mugabe’s government a “blood-stained regime” and said it was [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by John Regonamanye
06.12.2008 2:18 P

Following the glaring reports of impropriety in the tendering and eventual award of the Morupule B Power Station Project tender to a Chinese company, the government this week dispatched information instructing the Directorate of Economic Crime and Corruption to check allegations of corruption at the Botswana Power Corporation- a move calculated to clear the mist currently surrounding the multi million pula project.

Officiating at a Thursday financiers conference, designed to lure local and world renowned potential investors to financially assist the government and make the project a reality, the Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Ponatshego Kedikilwe, expressed doubt over media reports that the tendering and the eventual awarding of the Morupule B Power Station Project to the China National Electric Equipment Corporation and the Shenyang Blower Works Electro-Mechanics Import and Export Co. Ltd (CNEEC-SBW Consortium) was conducted under questionable and suspicious circumstances.

Kedikilwe insisted that “the ministry takes seriously any allegations of possible impropriety in the procurement process that involves public funds”.
“It is for this reason, and in the interest of transparency and good governance, that the ministry has referred the matter to the DCEC to look into any [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Due to the continued global economic turmoil, eight mining stocks dual listed on the foreign board of the BSE have so far lost close to P9 billion or 42 percent of their combined market capitalisation since the beginning of the year.

According to a Capital Securities’ November 2008 BSE report, the P9 billion that has been wiped off the board since the opening of the year is “potentially more damaging” than meets the eye.

The report says in the month of November, of the eight Botswana mining-related stocks, three improved on their previous four-week performance, four slowed, while one was steady. The market cap of the mining-related stocks was P12,995 million. Over the last four weeks it had dropped 2.7 percent, over 52 weeks it is down 41.5 percent. Anglo American, also dual-listed, was up 26.0 percent over the four-week period.

Trade in the Botswana mining stocks was [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
BuaNews (Tshwane)
Gabi Khumalo
7 December 2008

Pretoria — Government is to send a delegation to Zimbabwe on Monday to assess the humanitarian situation in that country and determine what level of assistance is required.

This comes after Zimbabwe’s humanitarian situation reaches crisis point, with a critical shortage of food and lack of clean water and proper sanitation. Cholera has left more than 550 people dead and there have been over 12 000 reported cases of the acute intestinal disease reported nationwide.

The delegation, which is to be led by Director General at the Office of the President Reverend Frank Chikane, will consult with various stakeholders in Zimbabwe on how a multi-stakeholder distribution and monitoring mechanism can be established.

The officials want to [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
06.12.2008 2:09:50 P

JOHANNESBURG: At a time when the credibility of most Chinese contractors is questionable, it seems the preferred Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor for Mmamabula Export Power Project is not in doubt because of its track record and relationship with heavyweight Siemens.

Developers of Mmamabula said this week that they have identified Shanghai Electric Group as a preferred EPC contractor bringing hope that the project is on track after a set back early in the year.

The President and CEO of CIC Energy, Gregory Kinross, explained that after a preliminary agreement with EPC contractor, they are bullish about the project taking off.

“The project will be built of lump sum turnkey basis. That is how they (Shanghai Electric) will build the project. Turnkeys are quicker to [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)
Mathabo Le Roux
8 December 2008

Johannesburg — OFFICIALS of the South African Revenue Service (SARS) have seized 60 tons of clothes imported illegally from China and shipped through Botswana.

Seized from a warehouse in Sasolburg, the goods were destined for the shelves of three big retailers, SARS spokesman Adrian Lackay said on Friday.

The revenue service would not disclose the total value of the seized goods or the names of the retailers, but they are believed to be listed companies.

While the retailers were not implicated in the fraud, Lackay said retailers’ due diligence on their suppliers was clearly not up to scratch.

“This is a worrying trend. Some retailers, in their pursuit of the cheapest goods, are not [continue reading]

Seretse on human rights

source: Mmegi

Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, Dikgakgamatso Seretse last Monday presented Botswana National Report to the United Nations Human Rights Council Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, in Geneva, Switzerland.

After presenting an overview of the Botswana National Report, Seretse responded to questions submitted by member States. The following are excerpts of some his responses:

National Human Rights Institution
The Czech Republic and the United Kingdom enquired on the steps taken to establish and implement a national framework to promote and protect human rights. In March 2008, we indicated to the Human Rights Committee that Botswana intends to establish a national human rights institution, and in this regard, consultations to initiate the process are ongoing. It is our hope that [continue reading]

press release:
Statement by Hon. Minister of Defence, Justice and Security presenting Botswana Report to UN Human Rights Counil Working Group