Archive for June 4th, 2009

source: allAfrica
4 June 2009

Cape Town — In a decision reflecting the consequences of the global economic crisis for Africa, the African Development Bank has granted Botswana the largest-ever assistance package of its kind to help it offset the impact of falling diamond prices.

The bank announced a U.S. $1.5 billion loan to Botswana on Wednesday. It said the purpose of the loan was to “fill part of the gap in the government’s 2009/2010 budget deficit… caused by falling commodity prices, particularly diamonds.”

Bank president Donald Kaberuka said Botswana’s situation “illustrates the impact that the financial crisis is [continue reading]

source: The Botswana Gazette
Written by JFG
Thursday, 04 June 2009

In his latest attack on media the President berated the private press in an unusual an unprecedented appearance on Botswana television, where he was accompanied by a friend and political colleague, Mr. Thapelo Olopeng, at the end of Sunday 9 0’clock news bulletin. Olopeng, who described himself as a member of the Botswana Democratic Party, said he had recently brought private media editors and the President together to try and make peace between them, to no avail. He concluded his spiel by urging members of the Botswana Democratic Party to protect the President from the private media in any way they could.

The President seems to have concluded that the private press hates him. While we cannot speak for others, we believe there is no reason to hate the President. We would like to assure him that we feel no animosity towards him. What we are doing in interrogating his policies and activities is doing our job as we best know how. As members of the private press we merely report on events as they happen and generally leave the interpretation of the information to the reader. We write about issues of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

In what could be an early sign of recovery for Botswana’s diamond industry and the economy at large, diamond prices and sales appear to be stabilising with consumers slowly coming back on board, says the President of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB), Avi Paz.

Botswana, whose export revenues are projected to go down by more than 50 percent this year due to a slump in the diamond market, will benefit immensely if a recovery came sooner than earlier anticipated.

In a note published on the WFDB website, Paz says the diamond industry is resilient and will survive the global economic crisis.

Botswana, whose diamonds made up 65 percent of its exports in 2008, has sold few gems since November last year. Diamond revenues have hitherto given the country one of Africa’s largest fiscal surpluses, but [continue reading]

Proffesor Ndawonde
3 June 2009

All upgrades to the Coca Cola Park Stadium in Johannesburg will be complete by this week, with the state-of-the-art facility set to welcome over 60 000 football fans for the opening ceremony and opening match of the Fifa Confederations Cup.

The first game features hosts South Africa taking on Asian champions Iraq in a Group A match, while the final match and closing ceremony will also be held at the same venue, formerly known as Ellis Park.
World class

Situated in central Johannesburg, Coca Cola Park has been transformed into a world class showpiece, from the pristine beauty of [continue reading]

source: News24

Cape Town – President Jacob Zuma’s maiden State of the Nation address to Parliament on Wednesday hit the nail on the head, the ANC’s alliance partners believe.

Some opposition parties, on the other hand, aver it signals a shift to a socialist agenda, while analysts called it disappointingly low on detail.

Fighting poverty and job creation will be his government’s main focus over the next five years, Zuma told a joint sitting of the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces.

He nevertheless warned the recession would put a reality check on government’s ambitions.

“The economic downturn will affect the pace at [continue reading]

source: The Botswana Gazette
Written by JFG
Thursday, 04 June 2009

Six local FIFA listed referees have failed a fitness test conducted by FIFA officials recently. In an interview the chairman of the National Referee’s Committee Harris Lebotse said he is disappointed that his referees failed the fitness test. According to Lebotse, the referees will not be used in FIFA sanctioned games until they pass the next fitness test which is due to take place in July this year. “They won’t take part in FIFA games until they pass the next fitness test” said Lebotse when asked what the future holds for the referees.

The disappointed Lebotse said the Fitness of an individual is up to that particular individual to make sure that he/she is up to the task. The FIFA listed referees who failed the test are Israel Malepa, Thapelo Disang and Silver Kelaletswe – all central referees. Three assistant referees who failed are Moora Silas, Jonty Rasetshoga and Meshack Medupe. The only two referees who did not fail are the energetic and speedy Selibe Phikwe based Joshua Bondo and Tebogo Ramocha who remains in the FIFA list because he did not attend the course as he was on sick leave.

According to the rules of the Coke Cup – where possible the FIFA listed referees must [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Wyndham Hartley
4 June 2009

Cape Town — President Jacob Zuma ‘s promise to reduce crime by between 7% and 10% was short on detail, opposition parties said yesterday.

Zuma told the joint sitting of both houses of Parliament that ordinary citizens could make a difference in the fight against crime by not buying stolen goods, participating in police forums, reporting crime and by assisting the police.

The state, in turn, would complete the reform of the criminal justice system to create a “transformed, integrated, modernised, properly resourced and well-managed criminal justice system”.

“Among the immediate targets is to ensure that we increase the number of prosecutors and Legal Aid Board personnel. We will do the same with police detectives,” Zuma said.

“We changed the name of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

By the end of April, only 43 percent of residents earmarked for relocation in the Old Naledi infrastructure-upgrading project had picked their compensation.

A progress report released recently by the chief physical planner and estate management officer at the Gaborone City Council (GCC), O. Mabaila however revealed that this was an increase from the previous month where 354 compared to 479 plot holders in April picked their cheques.

The target is 994.The slow process is blamed on lack of consultation and information but with intense increase in both, the plot holders are presenting themselves.
The residents who have refused to move out are said to be in dispute and query the compensation amount they were allocated. Furthermore, there are five plots holders who have accepted compensation but [continue reading]

source: The Botswana Gazette
Written by JFG
Thursday, 04 June 2009

Police fight wildlife theft

The Botswana Police Service (BPS) is said to have recently dispatched some of its top detectives to investigate escalating wildlife theft in the Kgalagadi district.
The BPS is battling to contain wildlife theft in the Kgalagadi area allegedly perpetrated by a syndicate comprising high ranking government officials and politicians. According to inside sources, the thieves had been smuggling valuable live game such as cheetah, leopard, lion cubs, and eland across the border where they are sold in the South African black-market. The source said, “The situation is not pleasing but we hope this time around we will make a breakthrough.” Tshabong Police Station Commander Mr. Mokolobetsi Marata confirmed that the, “latest victim was a cheetah cub stolen last week.” He said two men aged 45 and 20 have appeared before a magistrate to answer charges of being found in possession of a leopard cub.

“We believe that they steal these wild animals and [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
3 June 2009

Government plans to create about 500 000 job opportunities between now and December.

Delivering his maiden State of the Nation Address in Parliament on Wednesday, the President said South Africans must partner with government and business must act now to minimize the impact of the economic downturn on the most vulnerable.

He said the creation of decent work will be at the centre of government’s economic policies.

“We are mindful of the need to link the social grants to jobs or economic activity in order to encourage self-reliance amongst the able-bodied,” he said.

“The initial target of 1 million jobs has been achieved,” Mr Zuma said.
“The second phase of [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Tichaona Sibanda
3 June 2009

The powerful ‘Parliamentary Standing Rules and Orders Committee’ will next week place adverts in both the electronic and press media, asking potential candidates to send in their applications to be considered for the new independent constitutional commissions.

The Standing Rules and Orders Committee met in Harare on Monday and adopted recommendations from its sub-committee on how commissioners to the bodies should be selected.
Tongai Matutu, the MDC-T MP for Masvingo urban, and chairman of the sub-committee, said the four new bodies to be implemented under the Global Political Agreement are the Zimbabwe Media Commission (that seeks to reconstitute the Media and Information Commission), the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission.
Matutu, a lawyer by profession, told us only people of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

SELEBI-PHIKWE: The Chief Executive of the Botswana Export Development and Investment Authority (BEDIA), Dorcus Makgato-Malesu, has said Selebi-Phikwe is difficult to sell to potential investors internationally.

Addressing the business community here last week, Makgato-Malesu said the copper-nickel town was disadvantaged by its location and relative inaccessibility. BEDIA is in discussions with Air Botswana to introduce a route to the mining town that Makgato-Malesu insists has the potential to attract investors to diversify its economy, Selebi-Phikwe being nearer South Africa and Zimbabwe than it is to any other town in Botswana.

She said BEDIA was about to sign a Memorandum of Agreement to benefit Selebi-Phikwe with South Africa’s Limpopo Province. Her organisation owns 43, 000 square metres of undeveloped land that [continue reading]

source: The Botswana Gazette
Written by JFG
Thursday, 04 June 2009

Economist and local consultant Keith Jefferies has warned that the construction’s boom days will soon be over. The construction sector was expected to buttress Botswana from the global financial fallout has turned out will not be the economy’s saviour on the backdrop of slow spending.
Speaking in an interview with The Gazette, Dr Jefferies said the construction industry would be adversely affected by the slow spending in the private sector and government spending. “I suspect the construction sector will experience a slowdown in the next one to two years. Though there is no up to date information which makes it difficult to judge I believe investment will be reduced across the board,” he said.
Last year the construction sector’s contribution to the total gross domestic product (GDP) growth grew by 2.9 percent to 11.6 on the backdrop of rapid expansion in government spending, in particular, development spending on construction activity. Recently government announced that it will cut down [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Alex Bell
03 June 2009

South Africa’s new President, Jacob Zuma, has yet to make a definitive stand on the current political crisis in Zimbabwe, despite being called on, as the SADC chair, to intervene.

Zuma, who on Wednesday made his first State of the Nation address in South Africa, is being closely monitored to see how his administration will deal with the Zimbabwe crisis. His predecessor, Thabo Mbeki, has been widely criticised for his policy of ‘quiet diplomacy’ towards Zimbabwe, which involved supporting Robert Mugabe while Zimbabwe slipped deeper into despair. With Zuma now in power, there is some slight hope that he will take a tougher stance with his ageing counterpart in Zimbabwe.

But any stance is yet to be made, and even during Wednesday’s public address, Zuma merely made a passing mention of the plight in Zimbabwe. During his speech, which many observers feel was an ideal platform for the new leader to speak out on the crisis across the border, Zuma merely called for support of [continue reading]