Archive for February 23rd, 2010

source: Mmegi
By Brian Benza
Staff Writer

Palapye : Construction of the 600 mw Morupule B phase 1 power station has begun with the first output expected in January 2012.

Speaking at the official ground breaking ceremony of the power plant on Friday, Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Ponatshego Kedikilwe said the project, which he hopes contractor China National Electric Equipment Corporation (CNEEC) will finish with no time or cost over runs, is a medium term solution to the country power supply-demand mismatch.

Currently, the country which imports 80 percent of its power needs, only has [continue reading]

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source: allAfrica
Business Daily (Nairobi)
Wangui Maina
23 February 2010

Africa continued to record a high rate of aircraft accidents despite 2009 recording the second lowest level of crashes globally, the International Air Transport Association has said.

Africa recorded the worst rate as accidents increased from 2.12 to 9.94 accidents per 1.4 million flights compared to the global rate that stood at one accident for every 1.4 million flights of Western built planes.

Although the continent accounts for only two per cent of global traffic, it was responsible for 26 per cent of aircraft crashes.

Poor infrastructure, poor maintenance of aircraft and lack of investment in new technologies have been identified as some of the reasons behind Africa’s poor safety record.

The 2009 rate was the second lowest in aviation history, with 2006 rate recording the least number of [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Africa Confidential (London)
22 February 2010
analysis

Reports of President Jacob Zuma’s political demise are exaggerated. Yet what should have been a moment of triumph for him during the 20th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison proved to be yet another tribulation in his worst week yet as President.

The usually unflappable Zuma looked rattled as he arrived at Parliament in Cape Town to give the State of the Nation address on 11 February. His speech was a damp squib – too plodding to fire up his political base and too short on specifics to impress the markets.

Just days before, Zuma had been pushed into making a public apology over revelations that he had fathered another child out of wedlock, this time with the daughter of football mogul and owner of the Kaiser Chiefs club Irvin Khoza. For once, the commentariat’s talk of ‘floodgates opening’ and ‘circling hyenas’ did not seem overblown as [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
By Calistus Kolantsho
Correspondent

SELEBI-PHIKWE: A German delegation was in Selebi-Phikwe last week Thursday to explore opportunities that exists in this town and the region.

The delegation visited the offices of Selebi-Phikwe Economic Diversification Unit (SPEDU) before proceeding to the BCL Mine concentrator, smelter and Selebi North Shaft. The visit was organised by the Botswana Export Development and Investment Authority (BEDIA).

Addressing the delegation, SPEDU Project Manager, Theodore Seemule said the unit has done studies for opportunities that exist in the region that will secure the survival of Selebi-Phikwe and the surrounding region, beyond the [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Alex Bell
22 February 2010

The global financial lending body, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has agreed to restore Zimbabwe’s voting rights, seven years after the country was suspended over its multi million dollar debt.

But the Fund said the country was still ineligible for loans until it had paid off its US$1.3 billion debt. In the meantime, Zimbabwe will once again be allowed to take part in IMF decision-making and voting, in a move which observers have said recognises the country’s efforts to repair the shattered economy.

“The board decided today to restore Zimbabwe’s voting and related rights, and its eligibility to use resources from the IMF’s General Resources Account, following a request from Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Tendai Biti,” the IMF said in a statement last Friday.

But the IMF said Zimbabwe would not have access to IMF funds until [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
By Bame Piet
Staff Writer

The Member of Parliament for Selebi-Phikwe West, Gilson Saleshando has said the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) must explain its relationship with De Beers.

Commenting on the budget speech last week, Saleshando said that the BDP had mortgaged the country to the mining company and was now serving its interests at the expense of Batswana.

He warned of a day when heads would roll after the BDP is voted out of power. “Batho ba ga ba utlwe,” he said, prompting a burst of laughter from members.

He appealed to [continue reading]

source: BOPA
22 February, 2010

GABORONE – Botswana faces a mammoth task in its quest to transform the economy given its sole dependence on diamonds for revenue.

Debating the 2010/11 budget on Thursday, Chobe MP, Mr Gibson Nshimwe, said apart from the shrinking diamond market, the fact that diamonds were a finite resource was another major source of concern.

He said it was high time government looked at other sectors such as agriculture, saying it was unfortunate that the country did not have a manufacturing base hence its major exports were diamonds.

MP Nshimwe commended the government for steps it took against Zimbabwe following the imprisonment and subsequent fining of three wildlife officers who got lost trailing lions and ended up on [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
BAME PIET
Staff Writer

Member of Parliament for Molepolole South Daniel Kwelagobe has requested government to relax some of the requirements expatriates need to meet before they can be given residence permits.

He said there is too much scrutiny on the applicants and they give up and opt for other competing countries in the region resulting in slow economic growth for Botswana.

Kwelagobe said the Ipelegeng programme could be used in the construction of council houses and dams instead of cutting grass in cities, that will ultimately grow within a month.

Like other MPs, Kwelagobe called on government to come up with a legislation on Citizen economic empowerment. This is a [continue reading]

SA economy jumps back

source: Fin24
Feb 23 2010 09:00
René Vollgraaff

Johannesburg – The economy could grow far more quickly this year than initially expected.

The Reserve Bank’s leading indicator climbed 120.9 points in December compared with November’s 120.

Year on year the index was up 13.9%.

The indicator is a pointer to what can be expected from the economy over the next six to 12 months.

According to economists.co.za economist Mike Schüssler, the indicator shows that the economy will definitely turn, and that the turn will be much faster than expected.

That is very good news, he says, but it is not to say that there will no longer be any problems in the economy. The PIIGS countries (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain) are experiencing problems that could affect SA as well, but for the next few quarters we can expect [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
MBONGENI MGUNI
Staff Writer

The Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) has launched an internet-based cross-border power trading system, enabling member states to buy, sell and bid for electricity among themselves on a real time basis.

Prior to the web-based system’s launch, power trade within SAPP was done through bilateral agreements, such as the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) has with several utilities including Eskom, SNEL, HCB and ZESA.

With the new system in place, utilities will be able to trade electricity as is done on other commodity exchanges.
On Wednesday, SAPP’s Coordination Centre Manager, Lawrence Musaba told Mmegi that [continue reading]

BOPA
22 February, 2010

GABORONE – Transport and communications minister, Mr Frank Ramsden, says he is aware that the Mmamashia /Mabalane primary road tender, which was floated and closed last year on September 16, has not yet been evaluated and awarded.

This was due to the world economic crisis as government had to limit the implementation of some projects, he said.

He also noted that all secondary roads that he proposed to construct were put on hold as a result of the crisis, saying secondary roads also on hold were Molepolole/Letlhakeng, Metsimotlhabe/Molepolole and Tshesebe/Masunga.

Mr Ramsden was responding to a question from Kgatleng East MP, Mr Isaac Mabiletsa, who had asked him to state why the Mmamashia/Mabalane primary road project tender, which was floated and closed on Septemebr 16 last year was not evaluated and [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
By Ephraim Keoreng
Staff Writer

The Secretary General of the Botswana Federation of Trade Unions (BFTU), Gadzani Mhotsha, said the two percent increase in VAT will deal a blow to the already dwindling purchasing power of Batswana workers, the unemployed and pensioners who depend on a stipend of P260 per month.

“This will also affect the business community and pose numerous challenges to job security,” Mhotsha said. “This development defeats the labour movement’s primary object of improving the lives of workers as it further excludes the majority of them from the category that can afford to acquire property and at least a roof over their heads.”

Speaking at a press conference at Babereki House in Gaborone last week, he said his organisation has noted that [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Tichaona Sibanda
22 February 2010

President Jacob Zuma of South Africa has said efforts to create a conducive environment for free and fair elections in Zimbabwe are being hampered by targeted sanctions against Robert Mugabe and his allies.

Zuma told journalists over the weekend that sanctions were undermining his efforts to push Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai to agree an electoral framework that could guarantee a free and fair vote.

‘We want to create a conducive environment so that they can have elections to choose their own government but the continuation of sanctions is undermining the agreement,’ Zuma said.

The European Union last week extended the targeted sanctions on Mugabe and his inner circle by another year citing lack of [continue reading]