Archive for May 4th, 2009

source: Standay Standard
by John Regonamanye

Botswana is moving in the fast-lane in an attempt to meet the deadline for migrating to digital format, in line with the resolution of International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

On Tuesday, the country’s Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology (MCST) launched the digital migration task force, aimed at paving the way for the imposition of the digital technology over the defunct analogue.

This is in line with the Geneva convention where signatories to the ITU, resolved broadcasting transmission should move from the analogue to digital within a specified period, with Africa and Europe given up to August 2015 as dead-line and Botswana promising to adhere to the resolution.

Fistina Bakwena, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology, said that the “change was necessitated by [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

By refusing to assist the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) President Ian Khama and members of the cabinet have shown that they cannot be trusted to put the interests of the country first, Staff Writer TSHIRELETSO MOTLOGELWA reports.

Whoever accepts to answer questions from police officers who come to his/her door is doing more than answering questions from police officers. She/he is exercising responsibilities that society has placed on him/her as a citizen or resident of this country.

But he/she is also making a statement about society. He/she is supporting one of the institutions central to society’s existence, and thus is giving credence to not just that particular institution but the society as it exists in its current form. Every police investigation involves questioning more witnesses than suspects. In fact without the input of witnesses, it is impossible for any crime to be solved. It would be impossible for the innocent to be exonerated and the guilty to be punished. A refusal to answer those [continue reading]

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4 May 2009

The South African Reserve Bank’s monetary policy committee cut the repo rate – the rate at which it lends to the country’s commercial banks – by another 100 basis points on Thursday.

The repo rate now stands at 8.5 percent, while the country’s prime interest rate has been reduced to 12 percent.

Domestic output and expenditure growth were declining or negative, Governor Tito Mboweni told journalists in Pretoria. “The growth outlook is dependent to a significant extent on a broader global recovery.”

Despite the widening domestic output gap, inflation remained “sticky”, Mboweni said, but was expected to continue on [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter

Sunday Standard investigations have turned up cloak and dagger intrigues in the bid to stop attempts to close the Botswana Meat Commission (BMC), UK-based marketing arm (Allied Meat Importers) and give the business to some agents of the Namibian MEATCO.

Some BMC and government officials secretly tape recorded proceedings of their meeting with Namibian MEATCO agents who wanted to take over the marketing of Botswana beef in the UK.
The move followed recommendations by Australian consultants, GRM, who had been appointed by the Minister of Agriculture, Christian De Graaf, to help restructure BMC.

The consultants felt that Allied Meat Importers was milking the BMC and recommended that it be closed down. At the same time, some agents from Namibia’s MEATCO were courting government for a contract to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

The global economic recession should propel businesses to understand and implement the concept of being truly competitive.

In an interview, Strategic Change Consultant and professional speaker, Michael Jackson, urged businesses to remain proactive and avoid dogmatism enveloping their operations.

Jackson said that there were signs of the global economic cycle changing but it would never be business as usual because of the new rules of doing business. He said the rules included businesses focusing on main issues of tomorrow which entail embracing better quality of employment and improving working conditions and health as well as growing leaders in businesses.Jackson, who addressed stakeholders from across the economic spectrum at [continue reading]

4 May 2009

Potential investors need not be nervous of South Africa’s new government, African National Congress (ANC) treasurer-general Mathews Phosa said on Thursday. There would be ample opportunities for foreign businesses in the country, he told the Royal African Society in London.

“I fully understand that a change in leadership makes the international investment community more nervous,” Phosa said.

“When that is accompanied by over the top media coverage that borders on the sensational, it becomes a challenge to stay calm and take rational business decisions.”

The government of ANC president Jacob Zuma had an ambitious delivery plan aimed at addressing challenges in housing, energy, health, education and public infrastructure.

“Our policy will be to create additional revenue to [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter

While the government has come up with a stimulus package to help the weakened economy, the labour movement has been advised to make suggestions to government to mitigate the impact on members.
The Executive Director of BNPC, Thembo Lebang, has cited an example of Debswana and BCL, where effective and efficient labour-management collaboration has led to minimal job loses.

“While we note the government efforts in terms of a Stimulus Package for the economy, the labour movement needs to seriously do its homework to come up with suggestions to government on further initiatives designed to cushion their members from further pain,” he said at the launch of the BFTU May Day Commemoration in Maun on Friday.
He added that the labour movement must also put in place shock absorbing schemes for their members and not simply wait for [continue reading]

source: IOL
May 04 2009 at 12:07PM
By Suren Naidoo

Despite the global economic downturn, Africa’s biggest annual travel trade show, Indaba, is expecting nothing less than “achieving at least last year’s record figures of more than 12 000 participating delegates” at this year’s event in Durban.

This is the word from South African Tourism’s chief marketing officer, Roshene Singh, before Indaba 2009 which opens at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre this weekend.

Singh said even in the wake of the negative impact of the international financial crisis on the global tourism industry, SA Tourism, as the custodian of Indaba, has set its sights firmly on 2010 and other major events in the country.

These include the current windfall of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The government has revised up its decision to sponsor only 4, 600 students to nearly 9, 000 students and reduced the cut-off point from 40 points to 36 points for consideration for sponsorship at tertiary institutions.

At a press conference yesterday, Vice President Mompati Merafhe said the government was committed to educating citizens, hence it had heeded the public outcry against the earlier decision announced just before the Easter weekend.

Merafhe explained that the P317 million budgetary allocation for sponsoring students was not enough. “We (therefore) went to the UB Foundation and borrowed P115 million which we have to return in a year,” he said.

The Vice President revealed that [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Kagiso Madibana

Due to the growing concern and pressure from the media, the Ministry of Health (MoH) has announced its alert and preparedness, regarding the spreading rate of swine flu.

The possibility of Swine Influenza reaching Botswana is not ruled out.

The MoH announced its collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture in making all the necessary preparations to handle any suspected or confirmed cases of the fast killing disease that has left the world in jitters.

The flu like disease, has been making headline after headline in the world media, has been killing people in affected areas by the hour.

As of April 24th, swine flu was confirmed as the culprit for the death of over 62 infected persons and [continue reading]

source: The Standard
Saturday, 02 May 2009 19:08

TODAY, May 3 2009 is Press Freedom Day, which means the world celebrates the freedom that the media, often known as “the press” enjoys, or should enjoy.
This day of the month is preserved every year as a very important day for journalists and media workers. In parts of the world where such freedom is non-existent or substantially limited, the Day is only commemorated.

Whether it is a commemoration or a celebration in Zimbabwe is the subject of this evaluation.

A good starting point for the assessment might be the definition of the term “press freedom”. There are dozens, if not hundreds of definitions.

One of the concise and straightforward definitions comes from Eric Barendt (Oxford University Press) who makes the point that “freedom of the press simply refers to the free speech rights of owners, editors, and journalists.”

Many countries, including Malawi, Namibia and South Africa have entrenched press freedom in [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Reuben Pitse

The Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) has completed its investigations against Nico Czypionka, the government’s former chief negotiator in attempts to privatise Air Botswana a few years ago.

It is understood that the DCEC has forwarded a docket to the Directorate of Public Prosecution for assessment and in which the DCEC wants the suspect to be charged with possible corruption.
It is reported that the investigations were triggered after it immerged that, during negotiations for the privatisation of Air Botswana, Czypionka clearly had a conflict of interest in the matter.
A reconstruction of his role in the privatization of Air Botswana portrays him as an ingenious deal maker who thought nothing of trampling the norms of doing business at the government enclave.

It is reported that, for example, while Cabinet and [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The African Development Bank (AFDB) and Botswana have signed a US$60.2 million (P452 million) loan to finance development at the Pandamatenga Agricultural Infrastructure Development Project.

The funds will be used to develop an appropriate water control and drainage system for Pandamatenga farms.

At the signing ceremony of the loan agreement in Gaborone on Tuesday, the Assistant Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Keletso Rakhudu, said the project would see the construction of 340 kilometres of drainage channels, 70 pipe culverts of various sizes, and 310 kilometres of perimeter bunds to allow for controlled drainage and all-weather gravel roadwork.

The road network will be 190 kilometres long, eight metres wide in an [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Obusitse Kologwe

Last week Friday during the computer awareness programme conducted for Francistown City Councilors, the outgoing Police Commanding Officer for Francistown, Foreman Baganetswe, warned the members of council against the increasing rate of crime in the second city.

Baganetswe, who has been promoted to the post of Deputy Commissioner, was bidding the council members farewell to begin his new position in Lobatse.

“I would love to commend the Francistown City Council for its cooperation with the police and its combined efforts in an endeavor to fight crime,” remarked the officer.

However, he warned the council members against the rapid increase of crime due to the development of the city, pointing out that [continue reading]

source: News24
03/05/2009 08:17 – (SA)

Cape Town – Trevor Manuel’s time as finance minister will soon be running out and he will be replaced in the Zuma cabinet, by Pravin Gordhan, commissioner of the South African Revenue Service.

This will be one of the interesting changes planned for the new cabinet of the president elect, Jacob Zuma, who will be sworn in next Saturday.

Reliable sources indicate that Manuel will be moved to a new cabinet post, a kind of co-ordinating portfolio, from where he will oversee all economic departments.

This could include the [continue reading]