Archive for March 26th, 2009

source: BOPA
25 March, 2009

GABORONE – The drivers of the Deputy Speaker and Leader of the Opposition were paid overtime allowance of about P66 000 and P25 000 respectively during the 2007/08 financial year, says the Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Mr Daniel Kwelagobe.

Responding to a parliamentary question from Lobatse MP, Mr Nehemiah Modubule, the minister said during the 2008/09 financial year they were paid about P99 000 and about P30 000 respectively.

“The seemingly high overtime allowance paid to the driver of the Deputy Speaker is attributed to the fact that the former Deputy Speaker was commuting to and from Ramaphatlhe while the [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)
Lesley Stones
25 March 2009

Johannesburg — TELKOM’s goal of saving up to R1,3bn a year by hiring another company to run its core networks has been put on hold, with the Solidarity union saying Telkom fears the move may jeopardise its service delivery for the Soccer World Cup.

The huge outsourcing project has been controversial from the start, inflaming unions by potentially affecting 19000 of the 26000 employees.

Last year, Telkom agreed to postpone the outsourcing until next month , but it looks unlikely to go ahead then given Telkom’s need to be operationally perfect for the World Cup.

Outsourcing had been put on hold for the time being, Solidarity said yesterday, after the managers met the trade unions last week to conclude an agreement.

“In terms of the agreement, there will be no retrenchments and no [continue reading]

source: BOPA
25 March, 2009

GABORONE – The President of the Botswana Institute of Accountants, Ms Priya Iyer has expressed concern about shortage of citizen professional accountants in Botswana.

Addressing the career guidance counselors teachers at the Career Video Orientation workshop on March 21, Ms Iyer said the institute had realized that the country is in desperate need for professional accountants since the expatriates experts are returning to their home countries.

She said currently there are more expatriate professional accountants than locals despite the fact that the government invested in accountancy education after realizing that the economy of the country could not survive without such expertise.Ms Iyer explained that there are more companies that [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
MONKAGEDI GAOTLHOBOGWE
Staff Writer

The Minister of Finance Baledzi Gaolathe has called on the private sector to copy the example of Kgalagadi Breweries (KBL) and Botswana Breweries’ (BBL) Kickstart entrepreneurship development model.Gaolathe was the guest speaker as KBL and BBL’s celebration of five years of the Kickstart at GICC.

The occasion also marked the final year of the pilot project.

Gaolathe urged the rest of the private sector to follow the example of the two breweries in the Sechaba Holdings stable, identify sustainable development opportunities and support their realisation.

“More gratifying is the fact that the programme does not only give grants but effectively equips young people with the requisite entrepreneurial and business skills and provides mentorship,” the minister said.

He said the government fully endorses KBL and BBL’s campaign to assist the youth of Botswana to acquire the skills to [continue reading]

source: SouthAfrica.info
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25 March 2009

The monetary policy committee of the South African Reserve Bank has cut the repo rate by 100-basis-points, Governor Tito Mboweni said on Tuesday.

The repo rate – the rate at which South Africa’s central bank lends to the country’s commercial banks – now stands at 9.5%. The prime interest rate has been consequently been reduced to 13%.

“The global economy has continued to weaken significantly in recent months as a result of the turmoil in the financial markets,” Mboweni told journalists in Pretoria. “There is growing uncertainty regarding the depth and duration of the economic slowdown,” Mboweni said.

He added that the South African economy had not escaped the impact of these developments, and domestic production had contracted as a result of weak domestic demand and a significant decline in export demand.

“Against this backdrop of widening domestic and global output gaps, the balance of risks to the inflation outlook has [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
RYDER GABATHUSE
Staff Writer

FRANCISTOWN: The officer-in-charge of the Francistown Centre for Illegal Immigrants, Senior Superintendent Shathani Thela has complained that the absence of a power back up generator poses a serious security risk.

“Our admissions continue throughout the day and in some cases we admit in the wee hours of the night and now with incessant power outages, the whole thing become a serious security risk,” he said in a brief to the visiting Labour and Home Affairs Minister, Peter Siele, last Saturday. Siele was on a familiarisation tour of the facilities.

Thela related that there were instances when they are forced to attend to sick inmates late at night and feared that it could prove difficult when power goes out especially when they were to render special services like at the clinic.

Thela indicated that frequent power outages put the security of the centre at high risk of escapes and possible attacks when [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Violet Gonda
25 March 2009

It’s reported that Robert Mugabe is refusing to swear in Roy Bennett, the MDC Deputy Minister of Agriculture designate, to the new coalition government. It was expected that the former commercial farmer would be sworn in at the same time as the governors. But the issue of the governors is also still unresolved.

The MDC politician fulfilled the first stage of becoming a cabinet minister by being sworn in as a non-constituency Senator last Wednesday. This was to enable him to take up his role, as only members of parliament and the senate can be government ministers.

He missed the swearing in of Deputy Ministers after he was slapped with what the MDC has described as extremely dubious terrorism charges, and locked up in a Mutare Remand Prison.

According to MDC officials, Mugabe told a cabinet caucus on Monday that he will not swear in Bennett, claiming he is facing serious charges. This is despite the fact that the President swore in [continue reading]

source: BOPA
25 March, 2009

GABORONE – The national-flag carrier, Air Botswana has taken delivery of its first new ATR 72-500, in accordance with a deal for the supply of two ATR 72- 500s inked last year and valued at US $ 37 million.

With its new ATR 72-500s, configured with 68-seats and equipped with the “elegance cabin” and in-Flight entertainment, Air Botswana will be able to respond to the growth of the air transport demand in the country by increasing the passenger capacity of its current fleet of three ATR 42-500s, says Mr Letlhogonolo Bantsi, Acting General Manager of the airline.

Mr Bantsi said the introduction of this new ATR 72-500 aircraft was a [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
LEKOPANYE MOOKETSI
Correspondent

Parliament has heard that the dispute between shareholders of Cresta Marakanelo was over voting rights. The Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) owns 60 percent of Cresta Marakanelo, while TA Botswana Limited (TAB), which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of TA Holdings of Zimbabwe, owns 40 percent.

The Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Baledzi Gaolathe, said the dispute between the shareholders emanated from the Shareholders’ Agreement between the two parties that gave TAB two votes per share while BDC had one vote per share.

Gaolathe said even though BDC was a majority shareholder at 60 percent, the structure of the voting gave TAB more powers at shareholders’ meetings. The dispute was resolved by entering into a new Shareholders’ Agreement that gave each share one vote, hence recognising BDC as a [continue reading]

source: BOPA
25 March, 2009

GABORONE – Anyone who passes information to the envisaged Financial Intelligence Agency will be indemnified provided the information is provided in good faith, says the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Mr Baledzi Gaolathe.

Responding to MPs comments on the Financial Intelligence Bill on Monday, Mr Gaolathe said the freezing of a transaction for 10 days pending investigations is adequate because some of the transactions are sophisticated.

He noted that in some instances investigators would have to check with other foreign banks, adding that the 10 days may not be enough.

Mr Gaolathe explained that the Public Service Act would govern members of the agency, and that no one would be permitted to interfere with the agency’s investigations.

On whether the director of the agency would be appointed on a [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
FRASER MPOFU
correspondent

HARARE – Ramotswa Steel’s hopes of getting a rescue package from its Zimbabwean holding company, Ziscosteel, look increasingly bleak after the parent company admitted it is technically insolvent.

Ziscosteel chief executive officer, Alois Gowo, said the steel manufacturing giant is saddled with large debts of about US$18.5 million.

Ziscosteel completely stopped production in January last year, after years of operating at far below capacity. So desperate is the situation that the company has been meeting some of its obligations like paying workers’ salaries through the sale of sundry items and by-products.

Briefing President Robert Mugabe during his tour of Ziscosteel’s plant in Redcliff in central Zimbabwe last week, Gowo said the company needs US$78 million over a period of [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Busani Bafana and Zahira Kharsany
25 March 2009

Bulawayo — Scientists at Bulawayo’s National University of Science and Technology (NUST) have embarked on research to develop simple and affordable water purification methods, as more than a billion people live without safe drinking water in developing countries.

Water and sanitation experts are currently investigating if a powder made from the seeds of the Moringa Oleifera, commonly known as the drumstick or horseradish tree, can be used as a filter to purify water.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, only a third of the population has access to clean drinking water, according to United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF. Water-borne diseases kill an estimated five million people a year, many of them children.

The situation is particularly dire in Zimbabwe, where the [continue reading]

source: BOPA
25 March, 2009

MAHALAPYE – The government of Botswana through the Ministry of Education and Skills Development is in the process of taking over 41 Brigades development Trusts in the country.

This follows a Presidential Directive No. 36/2006 dated 25th October 2006 following nationwide consultative meetings with communities which opted for government takeover of the Brigades. Shoshong Brigades Development Trust Board of Trustees reported to the Shoshong community on Thursday about the dissolution of the trust and government takeover of the brigades. The Chairman of Board Mr Boetelo Keokhubametse said that the plans to hand over the school to government are now at an advanced stage.

He said the readiness of a brigade centre is visualized under [continue reading]