Archive for February 16th, 2010

source: Mmegi

De Beers expects to see the diamond market returning to normal business towards the end of this year, with sales of rough diamonds improving markedly at the start of this year, said De Beers MD Gareth Penny.

Admittedly, a year-on-year sales comparison would be coming off a very low base when the diamond market was going through one of its toughest periods in decades. The global economic slump curtailed demand for luxury goods in the Western markets and financing dried up.

Diamond production by the De Beers group dropped 49% to 24.6m carats during 2009, while the value of diamond sales by marketing the Diamond Trading Company (DTC) fell 46 percent to $3.23bn.

“We see the business returning to normalisation towards the end of this year or early next year,” Penny said on the World At Six, a week-nightly business radio programme.

“It’s not to say we’ll be back to full production but we [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Daily (Nairobi)
Kui Kinyanjui
16 February 2010

Kuwait-based mobile phone firm Zain’s acceptance of a $10.7 billion offer for its Africa operations promises a major realignment of the wireless telecoms landscape on the continent, analysts said, citing a possible renewal of market share wars in countries such as Kenya.

The Kuwaiti firm, which has been looking for a buyer of its Africa operations since early last year, said its board had accepted the Valentine’s Day bid from India’s Bharti Airtel but warned that the deal remains subject to completion of due diligence by the potential buyer and approvals from the relevant regulatory authorities.

“This potential transaction remains subject to due diligence, customary regulatory approvals and signing of final transaction documentation. There can be no assurance that a transaction will be [continue reading]

source: BOPA
15 February, 2010

MAUN – Ministry will never compromise the environment for tourism.

Although the Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Mr Kitso Mokaila is willing to consult with mobile safari operators, he would not sanction anything that could threaten the environment.

He was addressing the operators in Maun on Friday.

We want to be sustainable in whatever we do and we must talk about the problems we see in our parks and make the necessary changes.

Mr Mokaila said some of the burning issues in the business included congestion in the parks, poor standards of camp sites as well as illegal operators.

He said he was not pleased with operators who had little regard for [continue reading]

xsource: IOL
February 16 2010 at 06:47AM
By Sipho Khumalo
Political Staff

A multimillion-rand contract for catering services for the KwaZulu-Natal legislature awarded to Nonkululeko Mhlongo, a Pietermaritzburg businesswoman, was not advertised in the tender bulletin, the legislature has acknowledged.

Mhlongo is the mother of two of President Jacob Zuma’s love children.

Bongani Sibisi, the chief operations officer of the legislature, conceded yesterday that while the tender awarded to Mhlongo’s company, Bucebo General Trading, had been advertised in the print media, it had – contrary to legal requirements – not been advertised in the tender bulletin.
The IFP and DA suggested there had been irregularities

“The auditor-general in his report pointed out that this and many other tenders ought to have been advertised in the tender bulletin as well. Even in the case of this tender, an [continue reading]

source: BOPA
15 February, 2010

GABORONE – The 2009 Botswana General Certificate Secondary Education (BGCSE) results are out and the number of full time students who set for the examinations was 2.97 per cent more than that of the previous year.

This translates to 31 468 candidates who sat for the examinations last year as compared to 30 560 in 2008.

Of the 31 468 students who sat for the exams, 14 028 candidates were male while 17 428 were females.

According to the examination summary report, which compares performance of students from the last five years, there is an indication that the overall performance of male candidates is better than that of females.

The report shows that for all syllabuses, 35. 94 per cent of the grades were awarded to male candidates who scored C or better, while the corresponding percentage for women was 33.78 per cent.

In the case of languages, the opposite was recorded with [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Brian Benza
Staff Writer

The cash-strapped government has agreed to spend US$150 million((P1 billion) in helping to cut De Beers’ debts which currently stand at $3 billion.

According to a statement from the mining company, Government and the two other shareholders in De Beers, Anglo American Corporation and the Oppenheimer family, have agreed to pump US$1 billion(P6.7 billion) into the company through a rights issue as additional equity capital in proportion to their existing equity holdings in the company.

Government has a 15 percent stake in De Beers, while Anglo American Corporation and the [continue reading]

source: BOPA
15 February, 2010

SEROWE – The Khama Rhino Sanctuary, which was set up in 1992 to facilitate re-introduction of the white and black rhinos in Botswana is doing well.

The sanctuary started of with four white rhinos and now has 30 white rhinos and four black ones.

Mr Moremi Tjibae, the chief warden and manager of the game farm, said last year that two white rhino calves were born at the sanctuary.

In 2007, one black rhino calf was born after the introduction of a male black rhino.

He stated that the sanctuarys carrying capacity for white rhinos was 30 while black rhinos was four.

When the number of rhinos exceed the sanctuarys rhino carrying capacity, we either sell them to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Brian Benza
Staff Writer

First National Bank of Botswana (FNBB) says earnings will continue to be depressed in the coming six months of the year as the economy along with its clients emerge from the recession.

Presenting their results for the six months ended 31 December 2009, in Gaborone on Friday FNBB chief financial officer Steven Bogatsu says that the company ‘s profits before tax fell 3 percent to P265 million in the period whose operating environment was challenging.

Apart from the weakened clients’ disposable incomes, which pushed impairment losses up 12 percent, the bank also faced a challenge with the low interest rates environment, which [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Tichaona Sibanda
15 February 2010

The European Union’s council of ministers will meet in Brussels, Belgium on Tuesday to endorse a proposal to extend the sanctions against Zimbabwe until 20 February 2011.

The Committee of permanent representatives from the EU met last week and decided to extend the targeted sanctions against Robert Mugabe and his cronies. SW Radio Africa understands that this decision was motivated by the shortage of sufficient progress in the implementation of the Global Political Agreement between ZANU PF and the two MDC formations.

The EU imposed sanctions on 203 key ZANU PF and government figures allegedly involved in violence and human rights abuses and 40 companies associated with these individuals and their sources of finance.

Despite strong resistance from human rights defenders, the EU is likely to remove some names and companies from the sanctions list. There are divisions within the EU over the sanctions issue; some are calling for the lifting of embargoes on state firms, while others want [continue reading]

Oil Slips Below $75

source: Mmegi

Oil eased below $75 a barrel on Friday, pressured by a firmer US dollar on growing disappointment among investors over the lack of details from the European Union summit to help debt-laden Greece.

European leaders sought to prop up Greece with words of support at a summit on Thursday, but failed to offer concrete proposals to help the country tackle its debt crisis, prompting a negative market reaction.

US crude for March delivery fell 38 cents to $74,90 a barrel by 0314 GMT, after settling 76 cents cents higher at $75,28 a barrel on Thursday. London Brent crude for the new front month of April sank shed 36 cents to $73,76.

Despite Friday’s dip, oil is on track for a 5,2% rise this week, its best weekly gain in nearly six weeks, led by signs of higher heating demand due to [continue reading]

source: BOPA
15 February, 2010

GABORONE – Botswana should have long prepared for the effects of the global economic and financial meltdown, Lobatse MP, Mr Nehemiah Modubule, said in Parliament on Thursday.

Contributing to the 2010/11 budget debate, Mr Modubule said government should have known that under capitalism, there were times for economic boom and slowdown hence prepare for such adversities.

The legislator said like the USA, which injected money into the economy through stimulus packages, Botswana should have also been ready to do likewise.

On privatization, the Lobatse legislator said he was happy that the privatisation of Air Botswana failed and wished that privatisation of other entities such as National Development Bank (NDB) and [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Zimbabwe Standard (Harare)
John Makura
13 February 2010

Mutare — Zanu PF Manicaland chairman, Mike Madiro’s double standards over the land issue were exposed after he tried to blame white farmers for the chaos in the province’s commercial farming areas.

Madiro, who recently evicted more than 30 families from his farm, was told to stop the blame game at a Joint Monitroing and Implementation Committee (Jomic) meeting in Mutare on Sunday as his “hands were not clean”.

The newly elected Zanu PF chairman looked shocked after MDC-T Manicaland chairman Patrick Chitaka rapped him for being a hypocrite.

Chitaka said Madiro had caused a lot of suffering to many people he evicted from his farm.

Some of the families evicted had worked on the farm for years before Madiro took over from a white commercial farmer, Charles de Kock.

Madiro had told the highly-charged meeting that white commercial farmers were to blame for [continue reading]