Archive for February 12th, 2009

source: BOPA
10 February, 2009

PARLIAMENT – The Department of Information Services plot in Palapye has not been developed due to budgetary constraints and lack of implementation capacity.

The Minister of Communications, Science and Technology, Mrs Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, said the development of the plot was planned for the NDP 9 period and “is expected that the project will be carried over to NDP 10.” She said in the meantime, the Palapye office of the department is operating from the Rural Administration Centre.

Mrs Venson-Moitoi further confirmed that the Department of Information Services applied for and was allocated a plot in Palapye in 2005.

On the question of a camera for the office, the minister said the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

The out of school youth grant programme which was administered by the Department of Youth, Sport and Culture will now be taken over by Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA).

Delivering the budget proposals last week, the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Baledzi Gaolathe announced that the fund will run parallel to the existing Young Farmers Fund and will provide complementary funding for the non-farming youth projects.

The project ceilings under this revised programme have been set at a maximum of P100,000 per project with the funding provided in the form of 50 percent grant and a 50 percent interest free loan, except in cases of default where a five percent interest will be charged.

In another development relating to [continue reading]

source: Al Jazeera

Morgan Tsvangirai has vowed to bring stability to crisis-hit Zimbabwe, after being sworn in as prime minister.

Tsvangirai, the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), said that he would take immediate steps to rehabilitate the country’s dilapidated economy.

“We must get the country working again,” Tsvangirai said in his inauguration address at Harare Stadium on Wednesday.

In a speech that was critical of President Robert Mugabe’s 29-year leadership of the country, Tsvangirai said: “Political violence must end today.

“We can no longer afford brother against brother, because one happened to have a different political opinion.

“The transitional government will make food available and affordable … no Zimbabwean will ever go hungry again,” he said.

“Our hospitals must be places of healing … all schools must reopen this Monday.”

‘End of suffering?’

Tsvangirai, speaking in front of 10,000 supporters after his
[continue reading]

source: BOPA
10 February, 2009

LETLHAKANE – The Debswana Board of Directors has submitted an application to the Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, proposing the suspension of production at Damtshaa mine and Orapa Number 2 plant.

The company says in a release that the board has also approved the company’s business plan and budget for 2009 which includes aligning operational activities with the current recession.

‘Stay in business’ projects such as Cut 8 in Jwaneng and the continuation of the Operations Review, which is intended to improve organisational efficiency, have also been approved.

The release says the implementation of the aspects of these decisions, which have an impact on the employees, will be done after consultation with the workers union and the employees in general.

It says the company had taken a number of measures such as reducing costs across the company, which [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

There is gender imbalance in councils throughout the country, where men outnumber women. Addressing councillors at a gender and local government strategy workshop, women affairs director Marty Legwaila said that out there is only one woman heading a council as council chairperson.

Same Bathobakae heads the South East Council. Legwaila said “I feel compelled to ask: How is this possible in a country whose women population is 52.4 percent?

This does not add up we need more numbers of women where decisions that are shaping the direction of our country are being made.

After all the decisions made affect both women and men. So why should only one section of the population be involved in making decisions that affect both men and women?” she said.

She challenged her audience and [continue reading]

Goya wants NACA relocation

source: BOPA
10 February, 2009

PARLIAMENT – The health ministry should administer the National AIDS Coordinating Agency (NACA) instead of the Office of the President, says Palapye MP, Mr Moiseraele Goya.

Commenting on the 2009/10 budget proposals, Mr Goya said the HIV/AIDS initiative should be reported under the Ministry of Health, adding that the change would demonstrate how much the government is spending on health.

The Palapye MP also advocated for the creation of a special unit within the government that would ensure that all unnecessary expenses are cancelled. The Ministry of Finance and Development Planning has announced that it would ensure belt-tightening measures are implemented and followed. Mr Goya commended the government’s financial regulations, saying they have saved the country from the global financial crunch. He also praised the role played by the central bank.

Other MPs, Ms Botlogile Tshireletso of Mahalapye East and Specially Elected MP, Ms Margaret Nasha, condemned the recent violence at the University of Botswana.

Ms Nasha said UB students who want to study forever are [continue reading]

source: Reuters

CAPE TOWN, Feb 11 (Reuters) – A project by Canada’s CIC Energy (ELC.TO) to build the first power station at the Mmamabula coal field in Botswana is on schedule to start operating by early 2013, the company president said. The power produced will supply Botswana’s national electricity utility and South Africa’s state-owned utility Eskom [ESCJ.UL], which is grappling with shortages.

“Based on the developments of the last few months, we are now in the position to target commercial operation for early 2013. That will require coal production to commence in 2011,” CIC President Gregory Kinross told a mining conference.

Kinross said the power shortage in the region, which [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Movement for Democratic Change (Harare)
11 February 2009

The following is the text of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s inauguration speech, released by the Movement for Democratic Change in Harare on Wednesday:

Your Majesty, King Mswati III, the Chairman of the AU Commission, Mr Jean Ping, President Mugabe, former President Mbeki, Your Excellencies, Honoured Guests, People of Zimbabwe,

Today is an historic day for our country. As we form this transitional government, we look back with reflection on the difficult journey that has brought us to this day, and look forward with determination to the road that lies ahead.

To my fellow African leaders, there can be no turning back on the political agreement which each party has signed, knowing it is not a perfect agreement but still a workable one. An agreement that if implemented with [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

FRANCISTOWN: A Barclays Bank employee has been convicted by a magistrate on 14 charges of stealing by servant.

The court heard how Larona Senkang almost bankrupted a customer by withdrawing money from her account almost everyday. Senkang who pleaded guilty to the offence could not hold back tears when the magistrate Lorraine Makati-Lesang said that she would have to be remanded until her sentence.

“I am going to reserve sentence. The accused will be remanded in custody until February 20 when I will pass sentence,” she said.

Between October 26, 2002 and April 26, 2003, Senkang is said to have stolen about P30,000 from one customer’s account on almost a daily basis. The facts show that the accused withdrew between P400 to P8,000 per day. She accessed the account through her bank user ID and password. At one time, she claimed the [continue reading]

Michael Appel
11 February 2009

Protecting the poor and sustaining job creation were two of five guiding principles that formed the basis of Finance Minister Trevor Manuel’s latest Budget speech.

Delivering his Budget speech to Parliament in Cape Town on Wednesday, Manuel said that, in a time of global economic turmoil, the government had been guided by five enduring principles in drawing up South Africa’s national Budget for 2009/10.

These were: protecting the poor; sustaining jobs growth and expanding training opportunities; building economic capacity and promoting investment; addressing the “barriers to competitiveness that limit equitable sharing of opportunities”; and maintaining a sustainable debt level “so that our actions do not constrain our development tomorrow”.
‘GDP growth of 1.2% in 2009’

According to the National Treasury, South Africa’s incomes and outputs slowed sharply in the second half of 2008, with gross domestic product (GDP) growth averaging about 3.1 percent in 2008.

With the slowdown in international demand for [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
07.02.2009 12:31:51 P

Fierce competition is looming within the mobile telephone industry as the Botswana Telecommunication Authority (BTA) is mulling over plans which will enable subscribers to switch to any mobile operator without loosing their numbers.
An official at BTA confirmed that the issue of existing subscribers having to switch to any mobile operator of their choice without loosing their numbers has been a heated one and was raised at a number of meetings.

“The issue was raised on several occasions, especially during the numbering meetings and was supposed to have been referred to the international governing body (The International Telecommunication Union) for advise,” a source said Friday, adding that technical people are the ones who are supposed to know how far the case is and when it is expected to start to be implemented.
Attempts to get hold of senior technical people at BTA on Friday were futile as they were said to be either on half-day or on leave.

The new development, if successful, would put on [continue reading]

source: News24
11/02/2009 18:24 – (SA)

Pretoria – The new visa requirements for South Africans is not in response to a perceived threat from the Islamic world, British High Commissioner Paul Boateng said on Wednesday.

“The suggestion that the visa regime is a response to a perceived threat from the Islamic world does not come from any official source and bears no relation to the criteria applied under the Visa Waiver Test which South Africa proved unable to satisfy,” he said.

Boateng said Britain was a diverse society which welcomed all multi-faith societies.

“South African Muslims, like every other section of South African society, will find a ready welcome in Britain and will receive the first-class visa service we intend to offer to all South African passport holders,” he said.

Boateng’s response comes after the United Kingdom on Monday announced that all South African visitors would require a visa, citing a need to “strengthen its borders” as [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

EU Trade Commissioner Catherine Ashton is expected in the country today where she is to hold talks with senior government officials from Botswana and SADC with a view to moving forward the bilateral and region-to-region trade relationships.

According to a statement from the EU, Commissioner Ashton spent the 9th and 10th of February in Cape Town, where she was expected to meet with South African Trade Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa and Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. She was also to meet with the group of ANSA (Angola, Namibia, South Africa) ministers, as well as representatives from the South African parliament and civil society.

A key goal of the visit is to discuss the Economic Partnership Agreement with Southern African countries.

Aside from meeting government leaders from South Africa and Botswana, Commissioner Ashton will also have a joint meeting with [continue reading]

Wednesday 11 February 2009, by Konye Obaji Ori, Prince Ofori-Atta

Consumer patience stretched while they await a compromise

Chinese ambassador to Botswana Ding Xiaowen has assured the country that China’s stable market could be the saving grace for Botswana’s under pressure diamond industry. The representative of the world’s third largest economy, has urged the Botswanan government to turn to the Chinese diamond market.

According to estimated figures from the People’s Republic of China, about 10 million people tie the knot annually and spend a whopping 250 billion Yuan (about 25 billion euros) on diamond related items. The ambassador urged the Botswana diamond industry to seize this opportunity and open up more trade channels in China.

As the markets of the United States of America, Europe and Japan are floundering in the wake of the global recession, the Chinese market is said to be the most penetrable market for Botswana’s diamond industry. Ambassador Ding is quoted as saying that [continue reading]