Archive for February 10th, 2009

source: Mmegi

SELEBI-PHIKWE: A sense of hopelessness has pervaded Selebi-Phikwe after the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Baledzi Gaolathe, delivered a budget short of the residents’ expectations.

Top of their wish list, this mining town’s residents had hoped the government would announce a bailout package for Botswana’s ailing mines, including copper-nickel producer and mainstay of the local economy, BCL Mine.

While the minister announced a budget focused mainly on stimulating economic growth and employment creation, there was little joy for people here.

The Selebi-Phikwe Town Council (SPTC) has already announced that some projects will be halted as a result of the global economic meltdown.

BCL Mine, which contributes substantially to the local and national economy, has been affected by [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Lance Guma
09 February 2009

While politicians attempt to put together a shaky power-sharing deal the country’s deadly cholera epidemic shows no sign of let up. New United Nations figures show that the number of people infected has shot up to 69000 cases, 9000 more than the 60000 thought to be a worst case scenario.
Recent estimates suggest that figure could go up even further to 100,000. The World Health Organisation says that 3397 people have died since August last year, when the disease broke out. But that figure is highly unreliable, given it is based on records of the number of people who have gone through formal treatment centres – something most Zimbabweans do not have access to.

The outbreak is already being ranked as the deadliest in Africa for almost 15 years and highlights the complete breakdown of the health delivery system, in what is now a prime example of a failed state. While the state focused on shoring up its repressive machinery by purchasing guns, jets, anti-riot equipment and luxury perks for top security officials, the basics for society were ignored – such as water, sanitation and health delivery.

Cholera, which is an easily treatable disease, has spread rapidly on [continue reading]

Bathandwa Mbola
9 February 2009

President Kgalema Motlanthe says he is heartened that Zimbabwe’s parliament passed amendment 19 of its constitution last week, laying the basis for an inclusive government in that country.

The Bill now awaits the signature of President Robert Mugabe to enact into law after 72 senators who were in the House last Thursday voted for its passage with no votes cast against it.

During his state of the nation address to Parliament in Cape Town on Friday, Motlanthe said that following the political parties agreeing to form a government of unity, the work of rebuilding of Zimbabw’e economic and social infrastructure must begin, and that South Africa stood ready to help rebuild the neighbouring country.

“Now the work of reconstruction can start in earnest; and South Africa stands ready to assist wherever we can,” Motlanthe said, adding that there was an “urgent need to assist in dealing with the humanitarian crisis in that country.”

He said he was confident that the international community would partner with the people of Zimbabwe as they “blaze out [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Botswana passports are used by criminals to smuggle people into the United Kingdom, a security expert at the Cape Town-based Institute for Security Studies (ISS) says.

Charles Goredema writes on the ISS website: “Indications to date are that such predictions were accurate. Firstly, it is evident that cross-border human smuggling and human trafficking, which have manifested themselves since the late 90s in the region, have continued unabated.

He says South Africa continues to be a central destination for illegal migrants and victims of trafficking. “Anecdotal cases have recently emerged of criminal groups operating from major cities such as Johannesburg, Pretoria and Port Elizabeth that are engaged in smuggling young men and women into South Africa to seek work or [continue reading]

source: IOL
Staff Writer
February 09 2009 at 11:21AM

Telkom is to spend R22-million across 150 Western Cape schools by the end of next year to boost pupils’ access to “high-speed, broadband Internet connectivity”, says the Western Cape Education Department.

The department says 98.4 percent of schools in the Western Cape are connected to the Internet, but that “in many cases” this is for email for administrative use, and not for teaching and learning.

Telkom’s investment is to enable pupils at the 150 selected schools to use the Internet for learning, the province’s head of education, Ron Swartz, said at the project’s launch in Grassy Park on Friday.

The project launch coincided with the opening of a Telkom Internet Cafe – the first of its kind in the Western Cape – at the Grassy Park High School.

Swartz said Telkom had committed itself to [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
9 February 2009

Mbabane — A groundbreaking legal action in Swaziland’s High Court is testing the new Constitution and its recognition of equal rights for women.

King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, approved the Constitution in 2005 – on the back of centuries of discrimination against women that accorded them second class status – ending customary and institutional discrimination based on gender.

Although the Constitution recognizes the equality of women, in practice much legislation remains unchanged and discriminatory.

Mary-Joyce Doo Aphane, an attorney, filed the lawsuit to compel government to overturn Section 16 (3) of the Deeds of Registry Act, which forbids women to register property in their own names.

“This is the first test case, for women and for the Constitution,” Fikile Mtembu, an attorney and the country’s first female mayor, told IRIN.

Section 28 of the Constitution stipulates: “Women have the right to equal treatment with men, and the right shall include equal opportunities in [continue reading]