Archive for April 14th, 2009

source: Standay Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
12.04.2009 4:29:02 P

The Botswana government is planning to increase the 30% alcohol levy introduced five months ago.

President Lt Gen Ian Khama told the Special Economic Committee to Cabinet on Wednesday that the alcohol levy will be revised upwards. Office of the President spokesperson, Jeff Ramsay, would not comment on whether the announcement was made at the Economic Committee to Cabinet, saying proceedings of “the Economic Committee to Cabinet are confidential”.

Ramsay, however, added that, “the review of the alcohol levy is a process and at this point there is nothing new on the alcohol levy”.

The planned increase in alcohol levy is expected to start another round of war of words between government and the BSE listed SECHABA Breweries. After the alcohol levy was imposed on October 30, KBL issued a press statement that, “We have received with shock and disappointment the resolve of government to proceed with the alcoholic beverages levy, albeit at a lower level of 30%. We note that [continue reading]

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source: BOPA
09 April, 2009

GABORONE – The Minister of Communications, Science and Technology, Ms Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, Tuesday, briefed members of the diplomatic community on the Media Practitioners Act.

She said it was important for the envoys to get an understanding of the act from the perspective of the ministry following a barrage of criticism from the press.

She told the diplomats that the act dated back to 1997 and has undergone a lot of changes before being presented to Parliament.

The minister noted that the idea of self regulation was mooted a long time ago, hence the formation of a Press Council by the media which produced a code of ethics.

“We considered this to be a useful beginning for setting the standards,” she said.

She added that it was then decided that each media house develop its own editorial policies which [continue reading]

source: IOL
April 13 2009 at 07:39AM
By Carien du Plessis

In his first church campaign appearance after corruption charges against him were dropped last week, ANC leader Jacob Zuma has preached love, forgiveness and polygamy.

On his 67th birthday yesterday, Zuma was received with religious songs of praise, hallelujas and a massive birthday cake by the International Pentecostal Holiness Church congregation during its Sunday Easter service at its vast international headquarters.

The church comprises five plots of walled-in agricultural land in the dusty mining region of Westonaria, outside Joburg.

About 150 marriages, including various polygamous ones, were conducted as is traditionally done on religious holidays in this church.

White meringue-dressed brides and grooms, bearing large, white, lace-adorned leaves that they later used to [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Kagiso Madibana
12.04.2009 4:22:12 P

Residents of Tshikinyega ward in Mahalapye were recently advised to reduce their alcohol intake as it has proven to be dangerous to their health.

“Excessive alcohol drinking and drugs makes one an easy target of most of the present diseases so I would like to encourage my people to reduce the consumption of alcohol, mostly locally brewed beer like Setopoti and Mokoko,”commented one adviser

Mahalapye residents of Tshikinyega ward were found to be heavily uninformed of diseases affecting their community, such as diabetes mellitus and hypertension.

The irony being that most cases of Hypertension were caused by excessive alcohol drinking which some people in the ward were guilty of.

On a rescue mission to sensitize the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
MONKAGEDI GAOTLHOBOGWE
Staff Writer

Sixteen government-owned farms that were auctioned in September last year were awarded to citizens – including a young farmer – yesterday, the first time government-owned farms have been made available to interested members of the public.

As they announced the awarding of the 16 fully-fledged farms, Ministry of Agriculture officials also announced that they would soon start awarding 236 more farms demarcated from various communal land areas in the 1990s.
The head of Animal Production, Lesitamang Paya, said they would make sure the recipients of the 16 farms do not sell them. “We are going to sit down with all of them and warn them that the farms should be used for their exact purposes, or they will be taken away from them and awarded to more deserving citizens”, Paya said.

All the 16 farms are to be used for purely agricultural purposes – either [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Bashi Letsididi
12.04.2009 4:15:24 P

The global economic recession is supposed to be a bad thing but thanks to it, the Botswana Power Corporation no longer undertakes load-shedding.

“Currently, we are able to meet demand from our supply sources and this has meant that there has been no need to undertake load-shedding. However, the situation remains precarious and should any of our supply sources not be available and we are not able to manage demand by any other means, then it will become necessary to resort to load-shedding,” says BPC’s spokesperson, Tlhomamiso Selato.

She hastens to caution though that while the current supply-demand situation might be favourable, it is crucial that consumers should continue to conserve electricity.

“The supply-demand imbalance will only be [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Zimbabwe Independent (Harare)
Constantine Chimakure
8 April 2009

Harare — A 25-MEMBER parliamentary select committee to spearhead the crafting of a new constitution will be in place by Wednesday amid suggestions that it should be co-chaired by the three parties to the inclusive government.

The appointment of the constitutional committee by parliament’s Standing Rules and Orders Committee is a requirement of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) signed by President Robert Mugabe and the leaders of the two MDC formations — Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara — which culminated in the formation of the inclusive government in February.

Parliamentary sources told the Zimbabwe Independent that the Standing Rules and Orders Committee met last Monday to deliberate on the appointment of the constitutional committee and agreed that it should be made up of legislators drawn from Zanu PF, the two MDC formations, independent MP Jonathan Moyo and representatives of traditional chiefs.

During the meeting, the sources said, the Tsvangirai-led MDC suggested that the [continue reading]

source: BOPA
09 April, 2009

GABORONE – The value of foreign exchange reserves at the end of July 2008 was US$10.3 billion, and it declined to US$9.1 billion in December 2008, which is a decline of US$1.2 billion, says the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Mr Baledzi Gaolathe.

He said more than half of the decline (US$692 million) was due to sales of foreign exchange to the domestic banks and the government.

“The main reason for the sale of foreign exchange is the steep decline in exports of diamonds, while imports have remained at unchanged levels,” said Mr Gaolathe.

He added that the remaining US$482 million is unrealised loss explained by [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
12.04.2009 4:14:17 P

The global credit crisis that has stifled Botswana economic growth due to the collapse in rough diamond prices of up to 50% is likely to provide opportunities for the country, especially in regards to diversification.

The crisis took the country off guard because of it’s over reliance on diamond exports and lip service to diversify the economy.

This week, Razia Khan, Standard Chartered Bank’s London-based Regional Head of Research for Africa, who was in Botswana, said that the crisis will make diversification more urgent.
“There has been a real need for diversification for a long time. But, because of diamonds, the private sector never grabbed the agency of diversification,” Khan told reporters in Gabion.

“We think the crisis will make diversification more urgent,” she added.

Her comments follow several attempts by [continue reading]