Archive for June 30th, 2009

source: Mmegi
Thato Moseki

Statistics from the Department of Geological Services (DGS) indicate that 111 Chinese private entities currently hold exploration licences in Botswana, up from nearly zero four years ago.

In bursting onto the Botswana mining sector, Chinese companies are vying with traditional Oriental rival, Japan, whose companies have also increased their presence on the Botswana mining scene.

According to the Chief Geologist at DGS, Johannes Tsimako, Chinese companies are being drawn to Botswana by the need to source and develop raw materials for their own industries. Thus, the major minerals Chinese companies are exploring for are copper, nickel, uranium and coal, among others.

“The key attraction is the need for raw materials for their own industries,” Tsimako says. “They need to increase their supplies of [continue reading]

source: IOL
June 30 2009 at 07:25AM
By Jacob Zuma

This has been an exciting period for South Africa. Among some of the exciting milestones have been our national elections, which have been a defining moment in the history of our country and our democracy.

Our elections made a huge impact in our country and particularly the African continent.

Our youth were visibly excited by the elections, which augurs well for our democracy.

The elections generated such an electric atmosphere that many people compared them to the 1994 elections.

We have successfully hosted the 2009 Confederations Cup, a dress rehearsal for the 2010 Fifa World Cup. The organisers acquitted themselves well, and the people of South Africa went to stadiums in great numbers to [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
28.06.2009 5:59:21 P

President Ian Khama on Friday told a meeting of the ruling BDP (Botswana Democratic Party) Councilors in the Central District Council that he will have a serious difficulty working with Daniel Kwelagobe if he [Kwelagobe] was retained as the ruling party National Chairman at next month’s congress at Kanye.

Kwelagobe is contesting to be retained as National Chairman of the BDP – a position for which he is challenged by former cabinet minister Tebelelo Seretse.

The meeting held at Lady Khama Community Hall in Serowe was confirmed by a councilor who attended.
Also in attendance were Minister of Defence, Ndelu Seretse, Minister of Environmental Affairs, Kitso Mokaila and Tshekedi Khama (one of President Khama’s two brothers).

The three form a core nucleus of Khama’s inner circle. A councilor who [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Tichaona Sibanda
29 June 2009

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai arrived home on Monday after a three week visit to Europe and the United States to ‘re-engage’ with the international community.

Tsvangirai’s spokesman James Maridadi told us that during the tour, the Prime Minister managed to raise over $US200 million, which will go towards the provision of basic services such as health and education. An amount far short of the estimated US$8,3 billion needed to rebuild the country.

On his way back to Harare, the Prime Minister stopped over in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he defended his move in entering the power-sharing deal with Robert Mugabe, saying they would succeed or fail together.

Reports quote Tsvangirai sayin; ‘Those who accept me have to accept Robert Mugabe. If there is a problem, we go and fail together.’

He added; ‘I don’t have to defend Mugabe’s past and position towards the west or other countries. We are in this transition and this transition is working.’

The Prime Minister has reiterated that his tour to drum-up support for [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
28.06.2009 2:40:47 P

African Diamonds has praised Botswana as “the best diamond address and the street name is Orapa area” as the company positions itself to start commercial mining of the hard rock diamonds in 2011.

James Campbell, the company’s managing director, told Sunday Standard that “production at AK6 is scheduled to start in April 2011.”

AK6 is a joint venture between De Beers, African Diamonds and Debwat and is closer to Orapa Mine which is the world’s biggest diamond mine.

“AK 6 Mine is the only significant commercial hard-rock diamond discovery in recent history,” he said, adding that it is located close to Orapa.
Production from the mine will be sold to Diamond Trading Company Botswana on the same terms as Debswana.

The proposed AK 6 mine is expected to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Kolari Private Limited trading as Independent Management Consultants (IMC) has announced that it has been selected as a 2009 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference Awards finalist in Networking Infrastructure Solutions.

IMC is based on the BCL Mine Site in Selebi- Phikwe and BCL Limited is one of their major customers. The infrastructure optimisation projects undertaken by IMC at BCL are amongst the solutions that have contributed to them being recognised with this award.

“To be recognised on a worldwide stage is a fantastic validation for us and for our customers,” said Alex Mac Donald, a Director at IMC. “To be the first Microsoft partner in Botswana and in fact the entire East and Southern Africa region (excluding South Africa), to ever receive an award at the worldwide conference makes this achievement especially significant,” he said. Awards will be presented in [continue reading]

source: IOL
June 29 2009 at 05:13PM

July’s petrol price hike that comes into effect on Wednesday is unacceptable, the Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Workers Union (Ceppwawu) said on Monday.

“We are therefore calling upon the Minister of Energy to convene an urgent stakeholder’s meeting which will include government, labour and civil society to discuss this issue in detail,” the union said in a statement.

Ceppwawu added that the petrol price hike had come just after the announcement by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) that Eskom would receive a tariff increase of 31.3 percent.

The union was also concerned about the failure of [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
28.06.2009 2:35:04 P

Economic commentators praised the central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee’s (MPC)’s decision to slash bank rate by 150 basis points Tuesday in a move aimed at jerking up the jaded economy.

The move brought down the bank rate—the rate at which the central bank lends to commercial banks – to 11.5 percent, meaning that the commercial banks will follow by reducing the prime lending rate.

“This is a welcome move because the cost of borrowing will be a lot cheaper,” Chief Executive Officer of Stockbrokers Botswana, Geoffrey Bakwena, said Wednesday.

In its decision to lower interest rates, the Bank of Botswana said that “although inflation continues to be above the Bank’s objective range of 3- 6 percent, it is expected to maintain a [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Ephraim Keoreng
Staff Writer

KOPONG: Residents of Kopong, in the Kweneng District, were shocked last week when a casket-like box was removed from the ceiling of Maoto Kgowe’s house.

A terrified-looking Kgowe revealed that prophets from a Tswapong-based church called Rama Church told him that he was being bewitched and he went to pray for him whereupon they walked to his home only to unearth evil looking objects.

“First they prayed for me. I spewed out a rock-size hairy thing. At home, they told me there is a ‘coffin’ on the ceiling of my house. Indeed, we found it, stashed inside the ceiling. It was the size of a face-brick. It was wrapped up with a red cloth and inside were hairy objects and small bottles with medicine,” he said.

He also revealed that at the gate, the prophets dug out a rope made out of green and yellow wool, two bottles of medicine in his unfinished two and [continue reading]

source: Fin24
2009/06/29 10:21:00 PM

Washington – Google on Monday unveiled a new service designed to provide information via SMS text message to mobile phone users in Africa, where cellphones are prevalent but internet penetration is low.

“At Google we seek to serve a broad base of people – not only those who can afford to access the internet from the convenience of their workplace or with a computer at home,” the Mountain View, California, company said in a blog post.

“It’s important to reach users wherever they are, with the information they need, in areas with the greatest information poverty,” Google said.

The internet search and advertising giant noted that Africa has the world’s highest mobile phone growth rate and [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Bame Piet
Staff Writer

Members of Parliament of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party on Friday rejected a motion tabled by MP for Gaborone South, Akanyang Magama, requesting government to halt the privatisation of public enterprises.

Magama argued that in light of the current global economic recession it would be suicidal for government to go ahead with privatisation of Air Botswana, Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) and the National Development Bank.

He said that the BDP wants to create a clique of millionaires who are cronies of the party, adding that everything is done in secrecy.

Botswana has one of the most secretive governments in the world where information is kept only to those in power, Magama said.

He accused the ruling party of failure to commit itself to empowering Batswana economically, stating that [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
East African Business Week (Kampala)
Bosco Hitimana
28 June 2009

Kigali — Mobile phone experts have advised East African countries to lower excise duty on airtime to 3%.

Only Rwanda has been charging the 3% rate in the region, but increased it to 5 % in this year’s budget.

A report commissioned by the GSM Association notes that East Africa has extraordinarily high tax rates on mobile phone airtime.

Currently, excise taxes are levied at 10% and 12% in Kenya and Uganda respectively.

Tanzania has increased it from 7% to 10%, whilst Rwanda increased it to 5%.

The report titled ‘Taxation and the growth of mobile in East Africa’ aims to understand the potential impact of excise taxation on mobile penetration and usage. GSMA is a global trade association representing the interests of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Former Metropolitan Insurance boss Nathan Kgabi says his appointment to chair the Media Complaints Committee was not influenced by his membership of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).

A row has erupted between Sunday Standard deputy editor Spencer Mogapi and Kgabi. Mogapi contends that Kgabi is not competent to sit on the committee because he is a BDP activist.

Mogapi says that Kgabi’s presence on the committee does not inspire confidence. He says that journalists cannot be expected to recognise the committee as a professional body when a well-known BDP activist like Kgabi chairs it.

“He is bound to [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Reuben Pitse
28.06.2009 6:00:51 P

Residents of Bobirwa are threatening to invade Zimbabwe to root out stock theft criminal syndicates that have paralyzed the lives of the farmers in the Bobirwa constituency if the government does not intervene immediately.

The threats came following rampant stock theft cases that have reached a point where villagers can no longer stomach.

It is understood that some farmers are threatening to take their own weapons and cross into Zimbabwe to look for cattle rustlers who they suspect are involved in massive stock thefts that have hit the Bobirwa area, especially villages that are close to the boundary line between Botswana and Zimbabwe.

It is reported that the farmers have [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Australia-based A-Cap Resources is hoping to commission its uranium project in Letlhakane in 2011 at a time when a growing number of countries accept the use of the silver-grey mineral for power generation and are downscaling their proliferation policies, propelling its price up, writes THATO MOSEKI

For decades, Botswana has been renowned for its premier position in the production of high value diamonds, the country’s economic backbone. The country has also enjoyed the international spotlight for its massive coal reserves which are conservatively estimated at more than two hundred billion tonnes.However, an unglamorous and previously unexploited mineral is expected to trigger a stampede among investors and mining companies eager to leverage on its rising status as a cash commodity.

Uranium, chiefly used in [continue reading]