Archive for January 21st, 2010

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Over 300, 000 cellphone subscribers in Botswana will be de-activated and forced to buy new replacement simcards end of this month, the regulator confirmed yesterday amidst claims that the deadline for registration has been extended up to January 31st.

Although there have been reports that the deadline for simcard registration has been extended for 31 days, the Botswana Telecommunications Authority (BTA) spokesman Patrick Nyelesi yesterday told Mmegi they expect the unregistered 303, 368 subscribers to be de-activated and disconnected come month end. Botswana has slightly over two million mobile phone subscribers.

Nyelesi also added that only newly acquired simcards can be registered between now and January 31, adding that after this date any new simcard acquired will have to be registered before [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)
Charlotte Mathews
21 January 2010

Johannesburg — GOLD and uranium miner First Uranium slipped C0,20 to C2,10 in the first hour of trade in Toronto after the dual-listed company said yesterday environmental authorisation to build a new tailings storage dam at its subsidiary Mine Waste Solutions (MWS) had been withdrawn.

In Johannesburg, where they rarely trade, the shares were bid lower, but untraded, at R18,50.

The lack of a new facility to store the run-off from MWS’s tailings retreatment operations near Klerksdorp presents a problem for First Uranium’s immediate expansion plans. It also highlights the difficulties mining companies are experiencing in meeting stricter environmental requirements after unchecked mining in the early part of the last century left SA with a legacy of ugly disused mines and acid mine drainage into water systems.

First Uranium said the loss of authorisation was unexpected because last month two of the three objections to its new site had been withdrawn and it [continue reading]

source: BOPA
21 January, 2010

SEROWE – Botswana Housing Corporation (BHC) says the P2 billion loan it is trying to source from the financial market does not mean the corporation is in financial crisis.

The corporations Public and Corporate Affairs Manager, Mr Mookodi Seisa said BHC was sourcing external loan to enable it to expand its operations. Mr Seisa said BHC has set itself an ambitious target of building 29 000 houses over a seven year period.

The Corporation cannot be able to achieve the anticipated quantum leap in the expansion of its operations from its internal resources hence the sourcing of an external loan, he explained in an interview.

Even our balance sheet does not show that we are in financial crisis, added Mr Seisa.

Last year the corporation ran an advert in the local media issuing a bond of P2billion. This prompted speculations that BHC might be undergoing financial difficulty.

Mr Seisa admitted that over the last quarter of last year, six of their projects were not handed on time. The projects comprised 1 052 houses in [continue reading]

source: BOPA
21 January, 2010

GABORONE – Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) anticipates a significant underperformance of its funded projects during the 2009/2010 financial year due to the global economic recession.

This could have a negative impact on the agencys collections, CEDA chief executive officer, Dr Thapelo Matsheka, revealed during a media briefing in Gaborone today.

The briefing was to announce CEDAs financial results for the year ending March 31, 2009.

The year under review (2008/2009) coincided with the onset of the global economic recession hence outlook for this year is that there will be a slow recovery and we expect that funded businesses will experience significant challenges as the economy recovers to pre-crisis levels, said Dr Matsheka.

He said during the 2008/2009 financial year the agency collected P113 million of the anticipated P139 million, which was an average of 81 per cent.

This was a significant improvement compared to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Government has taken its obsession with anti-alcohol campaign to another level by dropping a 12-track music album loaded with anti-alcohol songs.

The anti-alcohol music will blaze on the two government radio channels, but the bulk of the CDs may gather dust in government offices because there is no distributor for the album, officials have confirmed.

According to Themba Sibanda, a public relations officer in the Ministry of Health, the anti-alcohol and substance abuse album will be officially launched on Friday in Gaborone with much fanfare.

The promotions officer in the same Ministry Malefane Kelapile told Mmegi in a separate interview that government Radio Stations, RB1 and RB2 will then ensure extensive airplay of [continue reading]

21 January 2010

Consultancy firm Grant Thornton’s latest International Business Report shows that South African privately held businesses are hopeful that the worst of the recession is behind them, with the optimism/pessimism index indicating an optimism balance of +60% compared to +35% this time last year.

The International Business Report (IBR) survey of over 7 400 privately held busiensses across 36 economies, now in its 8th year, also highlights that South Africa expects the turnaround post-recession to occur a lot earlier than most other countries.

“SA business owners are certainly looking with renewed optimism towards the coming 2010 Fifa World Cup year and its associated rewards,” says Grant Thornton South Africa chairman Leonard Brehm in a statement this week.
Increased global optimism

Optimism amongst privately held businesses around the world has bounced back to give the Grant Thornton global optimism/pessimism index for 2010 an overall optimism balance of +24%, compared to its lowest ever score of -16% this time last year.

Businesses in Chile, India, Australia, Vietnam and Brazil are the most optimistic in the world, all scoring over [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Batswana will soon be enjoying their own juice, produced right from their homes.

The Ministry of Agriculture, through its Department of Agricultural Research (DAR), will soon present the juice-making machine to the public.

Stephen Chite, a research officer, tells Mmegi that the machine is estimated to be ready for sale beginning of February or March this year.

He says that at the moment they have only one machine, which is still going through some tests to determine if it can be recommended for commercial production.

Chite says that the machine can be used to make different juices from watermelons, oranges, peaches, mango and tomatoes.

He says that the electronic juice making machine, does not require a [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

The Japan, Oil, Gas and Metals Corporation (JOGMEC) is scouring the country for joint ventures in mineral exploration, hoping to use its satellite survey technology to gain a foothold in the local mining scene.

Since setting up shop in Lobatse two years ago, JOGMEC has sealed a P18 million joint venture arrangement with Discovery Metals Limited for the exploration of platinum and nickel in north-eastern Botswana.

The Japanese parastatal has also sealed similar deals with Australian and Canadian companies exploring for platinum in South Africa.

Its preferred joint venture model involves paying a targeted company for the right to jointly explore for a certain mineral, then sharing the spoils of the production. In the Discovery Metal Joint venture, JOGMEC is entitled to 60 percent of the production of platinum and nickel arising from the [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)
Hillary Joffe
21 January 2010

Johannesburg — THE government has given the first indication that it might consider selling stakes in some of Eskom’s existing power stations to raise cash to fund Eskom’s build programme, with a senior official confirming yesterday it was “open to all options”.

Government spokesman Themba Maseko told Bloomberg yesterday that a ministerial task team would look at all options, “including selling off some assets”, but said no final decision had been taken yet. The utility could not rely solely on increased tariffs to fund its expansion and alternative measures had to be explored.

Eskom already has the go- ahead from the government to sell a 30% stake in its planned new coal-fired power station, Kusile, to private investors.

But acting chairman and CEO Mpho Makwana told the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) last week that Eskom did not have permission to look for [continue reading]