Archive for January 22nd, 2010

source: The Botswana Gazette
Written by AUBREY LUTE
Thursday, 21 January 2010 00:00

• Others suggest possible job losses
• Government will save costs

Government has approved the merger of some parastatals as a way of streamlining services and cutting costs.
This follows a Rationalization Strategy for public entities developed by the Public Enterprise and Evaluation Agency (PEEPA) in 2006 which sought to address issues of overlapping or related mandate, similar client base among public entities.

The objective was to improve their efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery as well as reduce the costs to Government associated with maintaining parastatals with similar mandates.

The Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning Mr Kelapile Ndobano confirmed the development.
He told The Gazette that the Citizen Enterprise Development Agency (CEDA) will be transferred to the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

CEDA will also have a close relationship with the Local enterprise Authority (LEA) as they are expected to sign presumably a Memorandum of Understanding so that they operate in a manner that would avoid duplication of roles. LEA is also under Trade Ministry.
Ndobano also said Botswana Enterprise Development and Investment Agency (BEDIA) and the International Finance Services Centre (IFSC) will soon be merged. On the two organisations, it is understood that President Lt gen Ian Khama wants a streamlined effort to [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Inter Press Service (Johannesburg)
Ephraim Nsingo
21 January 2010

Harare — Death threats allegedly made by a senior police officer to a journalist and the arrest of a photographer, all in the space of a few days, have heightened fears of a new onslaught on the country’s media.

Freelance journalist Stanley Kwenda fled Zimbabwe on Jan. 15 after receiving a death threat apparently from a senior police officer Chief Superintendent Chrispen Makedenge.
Click to learn more…

Kwenda had “named and shamed” the policeman in a story published in The Zimbabwean newspaper. The story alleged that Makedenge’s late wife’s relatives had demanded to see the note she had allegedly left after she committed suicide.

After spending the whole day reading articles about the violation of journalists’ rights in the Index on Censorship 2009 Review, it never dawned on Kwenda’s that by the end of that very day, he would be going through a similar experience. It seemed so unlikely that what he thought were rather long lists of journalists who had been harassed, incarcerated and killed would get longer with the addition of [continue reading]

21 January 2010

Local regional airline SA Express is expanding into the Democratic Republic of the Congo with the launch of a new regional airline, Congo Express, which will provide a much needed air service between Kinshasa, Lubumbashi and Mbuji Mayi from February onwards.

Congo Express corporate offices are based in Lubumbashi and Kinshasa, and the airline will operate seven days a week between Lubumbashi and Kinshasa, and four times a week between Lubumbashi and Mbuji Mayi.

This new airline is a joint venture and collaboration between established Congolese business, BizAfrika Congo and SA Express, one of the fastest growing regional carriers on the continent.

“The new airline, Congo Express, will roll out its operations in three phases, the first being the launch of the Lubumbashi – Kinshasa and Kinshasa – Mbuji Mayi routes,” said Congo Express MD Didier Kindambu in a statement this week.

“Next, we plan on growing the domestic routes to serve other airports within the DRC, followed by an extension of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) expanded its loan book to Batswana by P190 million last year, giving assistance to 292 projects spread over five major sectors of business.

The increased investment in projects left the CEDA loan book standing at P546.4 million at the end of the 2008/09 financial year.

Of the total, applications towards the services sector accounted for 44 percent of the approved projects, while agriculture accounted for 30 percent, retail 14 percent, manufacturing nine percent and property three percent. These applications were towards the CEDA development fund, which has traditionally been the Agency’s vanguard product through which it pursues its entrepreneurial development and employment creation mandate. According to CEDA officials, the P190 million lent out last year was a significant increase on the P119 million disbursed in 2007/08. CEDA Chief Executive Officer, Thapelo Matsheka however expressed concern with [continue reading]

source: IOL
January 21 2010 at 11:30AM

An email from travel agents warning people to stay at home during the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup is causing unnecessary panic, audit tax advisory firm Grant Thornton South Africa, said on Thursday.

“Recent email warnings from travel agents advising South Africans to stay home from June 11 July 11, because of overbooked hotels, unavailable car hire and impossible airports, are overstated,” Gillian Saunders, director of strategic solutions said.

“The email communication is causing unnecessary panic. Visitors won’t all be in South Africa in the same town all at once and, although there will be certain crunch peak periods, overall it shouldn’t impact South Africans’ daily [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Roy Sesana, the leader of the First People of the Kalahari has claimed that 400 Basarwa or bushmen residing in the five villages inside the vast Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) were disenfranchised during the 2009 General Elections.

Meanwhile the independent Electoral commission (IEC) principal spokesman Osupile Maroba has confirmed that indeed the names of the five villages listed by Sesana do not appear on the voter’s roll. Gantsi District commissioner Utlwang Kerekang also confirms that they had no polling stations and did not register voters at the five settlements inside the CKGR.

The five settlements which Sesana claims over 400 Basarwa were denied the right to vote are Molapo, Metsiamanong, Mothomela, Gugama or Kukama and Gope. “People were living in those settlements during the elections. They did not vote when the rest of the nation went to the polls,” Sesana claimed.

However the Gantsi District Commissioner says it is government policy not to [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
The Nation (Nairobi)
Kitsepile Nyathi
21 January 2010

Zimbabwe has suspended its constitution making process following sharp differences within President Robert Mugabe’s unity government over a consultation process that is already behind schedule by several months.

The suspension, the latest setback for the process set to produce a new constitution to replace the one Zimbabwe adopted at independence in 1980, is just one indicator of the multiple challenges facing Mr Mugabe’s unity government.

A new constitution besides being a key result area for the transitional government formed in February last year would also lead to fresh elections to end the Southern African country’s long running political crisis.

According to the state media, the three governing parties suspended the outreach programme on the new constitution that was supposed to start last week because they could not agree on the people who [continue reading]

source: The Botswana Gazette
Thursday, 21 January 2010 15:00

The Ministry of Agriculture has said plans are afoot to streamline the Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) in what the Agriculture Hub Coordinator has called ‘restructuring’ of the business.
Neil Fitt, who is the coordinator of the Agriculture Hub, says plans were underway to open up competition in the beef export industry.

He said the amendment to the BMC Act would be introduced in Parliament sometime this year, while industry observers have said it is likely to be in this year’s budget plan.

The ministry is currently reviewing the BMC Act, which governs the operations of the BMC and bestows the monopoly of beef exports on the commission.
This was after the ministry had undertaken ‘extensive consultations’ with stakeholders and [continue reading]

source: Fin24
Jan 21 2010 15:01

Johannesburg – Eskom’s proposed tariff hike could delay the country’s economic recovery, Business Unity SA (Busa) CEO Jerry Vilakazi said in Midrand on Thursday.

“If the 35 percent increase is accepted by Nersa, we can wave goodbye to an immediate recovery for South Africa’s economy,” he told a public hearing, organised by the National Energy Regulator of SA, on the proposed tariff hike of 35 percent every year for the next three years.

While Eskom’s proposed tariff hike would bring in R18.2bn for the first year for the parastatal, the cost to the country’s economy would far exceed this amount. In the same time frame, South Africa’s economy could lose R80bn, he said.

“If the proposed increase is introduced we can say that in the worst case scenario, 200 000 jobs would be lost.”

Another consequence for a company such as a gold mine would be a R300m per annum increase in [continue reading]