Archive for April 27th, 2009

source: Standay Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter

Keith Jefferis of the Botswana Insurance Fund Management (Bifm)’s painted a bleak future on the economy of the country pointing at the down sales of diamonds saying that they will be much poorer than originally thought.
Jefferis said that the performance of the diamond industry will be 67 percent lower and mainly blamed the global economic downturn.

“It is now that the world economy is in deep recession, with the last quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009 showing the most severe contraction in economic output for 80 years,” he said in his Bifm Economic Review.
“Of more immediate concern to Botswana is the impact of the global crisis on commodity prices,” he added.

The prices of commodities, such as copper fell about 70 percent in the last quarter of last year although they are [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Botswana’s restrictive land tenure system that does not allow foreigners to buy tribal land has had the salutary effect of staving off the impact of the global recession from the property market, says realtor Montshwari Mooketsi in an interview Mmegi BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT.

The property market countrywide is holding its own against the global recession that has forced the suspension or scaling down of operations in some of the country’s new and established mines, the Real Estate Institute of Botswana says.

Prior to the onset of the recession last October, the country’s mining sector was the driver of strong residential and commercial property values in places such as Francistown and Gaborone.
The establishment of 16 diamond cutting and polishing firms and the opening of country offices for upcoming mines such as the Boseto Copper Project and the Mmamabula Energy Complex provided the local property market with a shot in the arm.

While property values in South Africa plummeted amid the recovery of unpaid mortgages and [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Critics of the recent sacking of former minister and current party chairman, Daniel Kwelagobe warn that Khama and his supporters ran roughshod over the Botswana Democratic Party constitution after implementing an idea that has not been endorsed by the party’s highest law making body, the National Congress.

By sacking Kwelagobe, it was reported that Khama was enacting a resolution of the recent National Council barring members from contesting for party central committee positions whilst holding cabinet posts.

In the build-up to the recent council meeting in Gaborone, there were media reports that Khama was at loggerheads with Kwelagobe and his followers over the former’s proposal to bar those holding Central Committee from cabinet.

Speaking in support of this proposal Khama indicated that the work of the party required attention and thus those burdened with cabinet responsibilities could not deliver in both posts. Subsequently, the council passed [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter

The European Union this week revealed that it is supporting two studies, one on Letsibogo Dam and the other on Bobirwa, to examine the potential for tourism and leisure activities through the development of tourism and recreation facilities in the two adjacent regions, a statement said Friday.

It noted that Letsibogo Dam and its environs represent a strategic location for a new tourism destination based on the family, water leisure and recreation markets in and around the Selebi Phikwe region.
“The dam, situated only an easy day’s travel from major markets in Gauteng, South Africa, is also a natural stop over point for visitors to the Game Reserves and National Parks to the north of the country,” said the statement issued by Bester Gabotlale, Press and Information Officer.
Historically, Botswana’s tourism strategy of “high value-small numbers” has been widely acclaimed as a means of generating significant economic benefits while [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The Office of the President (OP) has thwarted attempts by Lentsweletau MP, General Moeng Pheto from moving a motion requesting government to come up with clear legislation on the gratuity and pensions of ministers and legislators.

The OP stopped the ex-minister from moving the motion on the promise that it is working tooth and nail to fix the Ministers and National Assembly Gratuities and Pensions Act of 1998.

It appears Pheto’s aborted motion was informed by what is seen as an anomaly in the way pensions and gratuities for ministers are computed. The MP said his aborted motion was informed by what he terms discriminatory practice.

Apparently gratuities and pensions are calculated on the strength of what an MP or minister earns when Parliament is dissolved. Pheto said this is unfair to MPs who served as [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
African National Congress (Johannesburg)
Jacob Zuma
26 April 2009
press release

Pretoria — The text of a statement issued by Jacob Zuma, leader of the African National Congress, on the ANC’s election victory in the 2009 elections:

Ladies and gentlemen,

We have come to the end of a vibrant election campaign. The huge voter turnout has indicated the value attached by our people to the right to vote and to the constitutional and democratic way to change or renew a government’s mandate.

We congratulate the Independent Electoral Commission for once again delivering a good and efficient election. They always rise to our expectations and make our nation proud. Where there were glitches, they were attended to very quickly. The elections were free and fair and we accept the results.

They were attracted by our policies and the delivery of services in the past 15 years, as well as the track record of this movement in working to [continue reading]

source: CRI
2009-04-27 02:47:54
Web Editor: Chu Daye

South Africa is mulling the possibility of Zimbabwe joining the Common Monetary Area (CMA), which presently includes Namibia, Swaziland and Lesotho and is exploring the feasibility of Zimbabwe using the rand as a reference currency, local media reported on Sunday.

According to The Sunday Mail, South African Treasury spokesperson Thoraya Pandy said the country could only join the CMA after negotiating with its southern African neighbor on issues relating to interest rates, currency and inflation.

However, no negotiations have been planned. “Each country should individually weigh up the benefits and evaluate for themselves if there are any advantages (to using the rand),” explained Pandy, adding the country “needs to decide on whether a new currency or replacement currency will be necessary”.

Zimbabwe’s Minister of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Elton Mangoma said the inclusive government is looking at all options available that are within the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The former senior engineer at the Water Affairs Department, Joseph Nyandiko, has told the Village Magistrate Court that he was forced to re-write the recommendations he earlier made for ASA Enterprises.

Nyandiko, who is currently working for Sasol Oil Company in South Africa, told the court yesterday that the contents of the letter were aimed at portraying ASA in a negative manner. “Kelaeng ordered me to include a penalising clause together with stating that ASA Enterprises was a non performer,” Nyandiko said.He told the court that he was the right person to write recommendations because he was the project manager dealing with day-to-day activities of the said project.

He added that Kelaeng’s letter was malicious and it abused the Competition Act and that its contents were not even true.

Nyandiko told the court that during the day, Kelaeng ordered him to rewrite the [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Cape Argus (Cape Town)
Lynnette Johns
26 April 2009

Cape Town — The DA has officially clinched 51 percent of Western Cape votes, leaving party leader Helen Zille free to go it alone in the provincial government.

This weekend, Zille was busy planning her next move – including her exit from the mayor’s office at the City of Cape Town.

The ACDP’s Grant Haskin, the deputy mayor, will become the acting mayor from April 29, when the election results are gazetted – the date when Zille becomes the premier elect.

In the provincial legislature the DA is guaranteed 22 seats but should Zille opt for a coalition government she could have trouble getting smaller parties to join hands with her.

Newcomer Cope, which won 7.74 percent of votes, has decided to [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter

President Ian Khama has foiled plans by some senior government officials to parcel out the Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) to themselves and their friends in and outside Botswana.

The plan, which was born from recommendations by Australian Consultants and backed by Minister of Agriculture, Brampie de Graaf, President Khama’s erstwhile advisor Nico Czypionka, a number of BMC board of directors and some powerful farming interests, involved stripping the parastatal and selling its pieces to some local and regional investors who had already lined up for the party.

According to the plan, first to be sold would be the Botswana Meat Commission UK based Marketing arm – Allied Meat Importers, which was to be bought by a Namibian Afrikaner cattle baron whose name has been passed to the Sunday Standard.

Allied Meat Importers, based in Waltham Cross (Hertfordshire) markets and [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Farmers who supplied the Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) last year will not receive any bonuses because the board has transferred the money to a price stabilisation fund, according the national abattoir’s financial statement for the year ended 31 December 2008.

Another reason for the transfer is to create a bulwark against the impact of the global financial crisis on world beef prices during the course of this year.

In any event, the BMC says it is necessary “to remind farmers that bonus is being distributed upfront to them every time they are paid the good prices currently on offer”.

Meanwhile, the statement says throughput for 2008 was a paltry 113,288 compared to the 171,299 achieved in 2007.

Business was impacted upon by a number of factors, among them outbreaks of [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Cape Argus (Cape Town)
Christelle Terreblanche and Carien du Plessis

Cape Town — After a fiercely contested election, ANC leader Jacob Zuma has moved to reassure the nation that he will be a president for all South Africans.

He was speaking shortly after the Independent Electoral Commission announced that the ANC won 65.90 percent, less than the desired two-thirds majority.

The ANC won eight provinces but lost the Western Cape to the DA.

The ANC lost 15 of the 279 seats allocated to it in the National Assembly in 2004.

Even before the final results were officially announced yesterday, Parliament was sending out SMSs to new MPs to fill in their particulars on the website by the end of the day. The 400 new MPs are expected to be sworn in next week before Zuma’s inauguration on May 9.

Zuma struck a reconciliatory tone yesterday at the IEC results centre in Pretoria, where the final elections outcome was declared.

“To those South Africans who did not vote for the ANC, we will form a government that takes care of your needs to the best of our ability,” he said.

Zuma acknowledged that the country had “gone through a difficult period over a few years” and said it was now time to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Botswana Export Development and Investment Authority (BEDIA) says it surpassed its P500 million investment target last year though this might not be possible this term because of the world financial crisis.

BEDIA expects a slowdown as the global economic downturn leaves investors “jittery and inward-looking”.BEDIA CEO Dorcas Makgato-Malesu told the media this week that the investment agency achieved a P539 million capital investment that created 2,344 jobs.

She said economic recession has resulted in a slowdown of investment in the first quarter of the year as new investments are converting slowly while the expansion of projects have been delayed. “There has been lack of conversions as investors have become jittery and inward-looking,” she said.

The crisis has resulted in the postponement of construction of factories and loss of jobs. Makgato-Malesu said already 100 jobs have been lost mainly in the [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Obusitse Kologwe

Last week, the Francistown City Council (FCC) engaged members of council in a three-day computer awareness programme as a way of empowering them with the basic computer skills required in the modern world.

Addressing the members of council during the closing session of the programme at Aerodrome Primary School in Francistown on Friday, the Francistown City Clerk, Kesentseng Kebabonye, highlighted that it was very critical and a requirement for each member of council to be computer literate as this would help them perform better with regard to council duties.

She further pointed out that the motions that the members of Council bring to the council would be done in a much efficient, time saving and [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

A generation of angry people is being bred. Future generations of leaders will have to contend with such an angry people. The Ministry of Education in its quest to cut costs has targeted students and restrictions come one after the other on their financial status.

A coherent strategy to deal with the recession is what lacks though; a strategy targeting the economy in general is needed and this is where the leaders of this country would be expected to roll out their blue print for surviving the economic blues.

Nomsa Zuze has recently had to announce that only students with 40 points will be sponsored for their studies at the University of Botswana and a good number of courses will not be sponsored for.

This follows the freezing of sponsorships to [continue reading]