Archive for February 15th, 2010

source: Mmegi

The Zimbabwe Embassy in Botswana has issued a statement condemning the Botswana government for taking action without seriously examining facts on the ground.

The statement denies recent remarks made by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Phandu Skelemani that he unsuccessfully made several attempts to contact his counterpart in Zimbabwe over the arrest of three officers of the Department of Wildlife and National Parks who accidentally crossed into Zimbabwe last month. The officers were jailed until a magistrate court released them last Tuesday.

“The Ministry would, on contrary, wish to point out that Minister Mumbengegwi was out of the country during that time and only returned on February 2, 2010. During the time that the Minister was away, he never received any [continue reading]

source: Fin24
Feb 14 2010 10:25 Jean-Marie de Waal

Cape Town – Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan will shortly announce government’s plan to stabilise the rand’s exchange rate.

Collins Chabane, the minister in the presidency responsible for monitoring and evaluation, at a media session on Friday announced that decisions had been taken in this regard. But he declined to say whether this implied a freezing of the rand.

In October markets reacted sharply to an announcement that government was considering altering macroeconomic policy by, among other things, freezing the value of the rand. At the time government spokesperson Themba Maseko said that that was not on the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Barely a week after receiving over 1000 Dates plants from Libya. The government of Libya has once again ferried in a special cargo plane of eight tractors to Botswana under the Green revolution programme whose aim is to assist African countries in agricultural development.

According to the Libyan Ambassador to Botswana, the tractors will be used wherever they will be needed in Botswana as determined by the ministry of Agriculture. The Libyan Envoy said his embassy and the ministry of Agriculture are yet to map ways of using the tractors. The tractors will be housed at the Libyan Embassy awaiting instruction of where and how they will be used.

According to information from the Libyan Embassy in Gaborone the Libyan government will pay for the maintenance of tractors, driver, fuel and other related needs. The Libyan Ambassador expressed optimism that the tractors will go a long way in [continue reading]

source: BOPA
12 February, 2010

PARLIAMENT – Governments failure to increase public service salaries while conversely raising value added tax by two per cent has left civil servants with eroded pockets.

This is now a double blow on government employees because their purchasing power has been highly eroded, complained Boteti North legislator, Mr Slumber Tsogwane, on Wednesday.

MP Tsogwane who was debating the 2010/11 budget in Parliament said a less harsh move would have been to increase civil servants salaries.

Increasing workers salaries would still generate the necessary revenue as it would increase income tax drawn from employees salaries, he said.

MP Tsogwanes comments came after finance minister, Mr Kenneth Matambo, informed the house that with 12 per cent VAT, Botswana remained the lowest in the SADC region followed by [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Toyota motor vehicle dealers in the country will soon start recalling cars which have faulty accelerator problems after Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) confirmed that Botswana and three other African nations are included in the exercise that has seen over 8 million being brought back to the manufacturer world wide.

In a statement TSAM said that it has finally identified cars from its plant which have been affected by the faulty accelerator problem, with 50,000 vehicles affected in South Africa, while another 60,000 were exported to other African countries and Europe.

The affected passenger vehicle models include Toyota Corolla (February 2007 to January 2010), Toyota Auris (June 2006 to January 2010), Toyota Verso (October 2008 to January 2010).

Motor Centre Service manager Lee Ruis said they were still waiting for confirmation from TSAM on the exact number of [continue reading]

source: IOL
February 15 2010 at 07:26AM

Toyota SA on Sunday condemned the illegal conversion of its panel vans into taxis.

“Our stance on the issue is clear. We don’t condone it at all,” said Toyota SA spokesman Ferdi De Vos.

“The conversions started before the introduction of the Quantum Ses’fikile taxis. People converted the panel vans because it was cheaper,” he said.

De Vos was reacting to Western Cape transport MEC Robin Carlisle’s comments that converted taxis were unfit to carry passengers.

“Every Toyota Quantum conversion is a potential time bomb, and … the conversions may have already cost many lives,” Carlisle’s department said in a [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Government plans to strategically diversify its export markets going forward, to buffer the country from the consequences seen last year of overly depending on a few destinations, it has been learnt.

Senior officials said one of the tough lessons learnt from the recession was that the country could not afford to “keep its eggs in one basket,” as far as exports were concerned. The economies of the US, Europe and Japan, which collectively consume 75 percent of Botswana’s diamonds, were all blighted by the recession last year, contributing to an estimated 57 percent drop in diamond revenues between 2008 and 2009.

Government now expects to [continue reading]

source: BOPA
12 February, 2010

GABORONE – The two per cent hike of the Value Added Tax (VAT) from 10 to 12 per cent will drive many Batswana into poverty.

Contributing to the 2010/11 budget debate, leader of the opposition, Mr Olebile Gaborone, said government should have opted for other measures to boost its revenues rather than increase VAT especially after it failed to increase public service salaries.

Mr Gaborone, who is also South East North MP, said people who had previously walked in the shadow of poverty would now be thrown deep into the poverty pit as the tax increase would trigger commodity price hikes.

Government froze public service salaries because of economic difficulties, and Mr Gaborone said adding to the misery were [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

FRANCISTOWN: The budget proposal for 2010/11 presented to the National Assembly on Monday by the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Kenneth Matambo has received mixed reactions from members of the public.

The contention was based mainly on the increase in Value Added Tax (VAT) from 10% to 12% with effect from April 1, 2010, and the fact that there will be no salary increase and no inflation adjustment for civil servants.
Some people that Businessweek talked to said by increasing VAT, the government is punishing rather than supporting them.

A self-employed carpenter, 39-year-old Othusang Majaule of Block Two said increasing VAT will only hurt people who do not [continue reading]

source: IOL
February 14 2010 at 09:46AM
By Gaye Davis

President Jacob Zuma needs a speech-writer – fast. His State of the Nation address was cobbled together by a committee, and it showed.

An opportunity for the government to get back on the offensive after a miserable fortnight of flailing around on the back foot was not just lost, it was squandered.

Why talk directly to millions of South Africans glued to their TVs and radios during prime time when your speech is about as inspiring as a hardware catalogue?

Make no mistake, this was a difficult speech to write – and to deliver. The past nine months of the new administration have seen plenty of workshops, plans and [continue reading]