Archive for March 31st, 2010

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Applications from the troubled textile industry have started rolling into the Department of Industrial Affairs, the lead agency tasked with administering government’s P38 million-rescue package for the sector.

The department, which is housed within the Ministry of Trade and Industry, has established a working committee with the Botswana Exporters and Manufacturers Association (BEMA) that represents the majority of textile industry players.

The committee is expected to meet this week to, among other matters, begin assessing the applications that have been received so far.
Industrial Affairs Director, Violet Mosele told Mmegi that by [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Alex Bell
30 March 2010

An agreement meant to be thrashed out by Zimbabwe’s feuding political parties has remained out of sight, with a deadline for an agreement to be reached passing on Monday.

The deadline was set by South African President Jacob Zuma earlier this month, when he intervened in the dispute over outstanding issues of the Global Political Agreement. Zuma, who is the Southern African region’s appointed facilitator, came away from the mediation trip lauding ‘progress’ in the form of a package of measures to rescue the fragile coalition. He set three dates for party negotiators to meet and to work out an agreement on how to move the unity government forward, details that are meant to be presented in a report on Wednesday.

But the talks’ deadline passed on Monday with no conclusion or agreement, and the negotiators were set to meet again on Tuesday after Cabinet adjourned. Zuma’s own mediation team meanwhile jetted back into the country on Monday to ‘assist’ the negotiators, but its is widely believed that there is no chance of [continue reading]

source: News24
2010-03-30 16:04

Cape Town – Civil rights group AfriForum seized a Cape Town property belonging to the Zimbabwean state on Tuesday, saying the move was the start of a “civil sanctions” campaign against President Robert Mugabe’s government.

“This is a process aimed at helping all the people of Zimbabwe in a way that creates hope and shows that it is possible for civil society to institute civil sanctions against a regime that does not help its people,” Willie Spies, a lawyer for AfriForum said outside of the offices of the sheriff for the district of Cape Town.

The process started in November 2008 when the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Tribunal ruled in favour of Michael Campbell and 78 Zimbabwean farmers that the land reform programme in the country was [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE)-listed Discovery Metals Limited (DML) has reported that a scoping study at its Boseto copper project, in Botswana, has confirmed the economic viability of underground operations at the Zeta mineral resource.

“The positive results of this study are very encouraging. The study shows that a Zeta underground mine has the potential to add significant value to shareholders through increased operational flexibility and optionality in relation to the copper price, production volumes and extensions to mine life,” said DML managing director Brad Sampson in a statement.

In addition, the scoping study has shown that the mine has a “very low” incremental development capital cost with attendant scope for rapid payback, Sampson added.

“We envisage that the Zeta underground proposal will improve in the future because at this stage the scoping study manager has [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Morula Morula
28.03.2010 8:50:15 P

Fly Mokwadi on 24 of March became the 42nd person to be executed in Botswana since the country attained independence in 1966.

Mokwadi was found guilty of having murdered his child.

His execution comes amidst condemnations by civil society groups in the country who say that the government should abolish the practice, which has been widely condemned in other countries as being both abhorrent and not a deterrent.
Leading this campaign in Botswana has been the Botswana Human Rights organisation (Ditshwanelo).

The organisation has been campaigning against the death penalty for years now, saying that the government should move with the times and abolish the practice and replace it with life sentences as is the practice in most democratic countries around the world.
The government’s stand has always been that Batswana in general are pro death sentence and that [continue reading]

source: News24
2010-03-30 22:27

Pretoria – It is a concern that the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) has allocated only 50 megawatts (MW) for Concentrated Solar Plants (CSPs) by 2013, the Southern Africa Solar Thermal and Electricity Association (Sastela) said on Tuesday.

“The current project pipeline under development is between 500 and 1 000 MW… we recommend that Nersa revises the CSP allocation to 500 MW by 2013,” Sastela spokesperson Pancho Ndebele told Nersa’s hearing in Pretoria on the selection criteria for renewable energy projects under the Refit (renewable energy feed-in tariff) programme.

According to Nersa, a Refit is a mechanism to promote the deployment of renewable energy that obliges certain institutions to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Botswana is looking to collaborate with Russia in diamond mining and cutting, Interfax reported.

The news agency cited Nchidzi Mmolawa, director of mineral affairs in Botswana’s Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources saying that the two countries “need to work closely in diamond mining and to sign the necessary agreements.”

“We’d like to see Russian companies involved in exploration, and activity on the part not just of ALROSA but of other companies, too,” he added. The two countries are the world’s two largest diamond producers with Botswana topping the list when measured by value and Russia being the biggest by volume. ALROSA contributes an estimated 97 percent of Russia’s total production.

In Botswana, mining is carried out by Debswana, a joint venture between [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Tichaona Sibanda
30 March 2010

The construction of a US$600 million ethanol plant in Chisumbanje, Manicaland province has ignited a storm of protests and claims that it could result in thousands of families being evicted from the area.

The plant, which government says will provide the country with 80 percent of it’s ethanol needs, is being built on land currently owned by the Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (ARDA). The ethanol will be created from sugarcane grown in Arda Chisumbanje and Arda Middle Sabi. Clouds of uncertainty now hang over the welfare of over 250 000 villagers living along the vast Sabi river.

Government entered into the deal with controversial businessman Billy Rautenbach and his companies Macdom Pvt (Ltd) and Ratings Investment.

The 51 year-old Rautenbach is a multimillionaire Zimbabwe businessman well known for his aggressive business tactics. He is also closely linked to Robert Mugabe’s ZANU PF. He was added to the EU targetted sanctions list in January 2008, and the US targetted sanctions towards the end of 2008 for his alleged involvement with the former ruling regime. It is alleged he has aided ZANU PF financially and the deals have been mutually beneficial. Mugabe, grateful for financial support, often returns favours to Rautenbach by granting him dubious and [continue reading]