Archive for April 13th, 2010

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Consumers are feeling the brunt of the two percent Value Added Tax (VAT) increase that came into effect on April 1, a snap survey by The Monitor in Gaborone has revealed.

Kagiso Kagiso is of the view that the government’s decision to increase VAT was ill-considered as the cost of living was high already. A drinker, Kagiso says the price of Chibuku has gone up by 25thebe.

Agnes Major fells the sting of VAT in her baby feed, especially First Growth formula which she says she used to buy for P14.95 but now costs P17.95.

“We have to compare prices thoroughly now,” she says.

Pearl Tsapoga, who dscribes herself as a low-income earner, says the recent VAT increment has added to the suffering of people like herself, especially that it came when there was no salary increment.

“Life has become tougher for us low-income earners as we have to [continue reading]


source: IOL
April 12 2010 at 11:02PM

More than 30 000 firearms were surrendered during the firearms amnesty which ended at midnight on Sunday, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said on Monday.

Most of those guns were from Gauteng, he told reporters in Pretoria, alongside police Commissioner Bheki Cele.

Of the 32 169 guns recovered, 27 percent were illegal, more than half voluntarily surrendered and the rest confiscated at roadblocks and during search-and-seizures.

“This is encouraging… We’re able to remove a large number of illegal firearms out of circulation. This augurs very well with our objective of [reducing the] proliferation of firearms in the country.”

The numbers were most “pleasing” as there had been doubts people would surrender their [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Lekopanye Mooketsi

The military strategist that he is, President Ian Khama has reportedly adopted a soft approach to deal with Barata-Phathi following their threats to form a splinter party.

Khama has since realised that the Barata-Phathi are serious about their plans and it would not help the situation to fight fire with fire.

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) insiders said Khama is now approaching Barata-Phathi Members of Parliament (MPs) individually. Khama is said to have been charming during his meetings with the individual MPs. The idea is to convince them not to leave the BDP. By approaching the MPs individually, Khama also intends to divide Barata-Phathi. A BDP member said Khama does not want to talk to Barata-Phathi as a group because it would seem as if he recognises the mavericks.

Already two of the MPs, the unpredictable Tawana Moremi and Mmoloki Raletobana have taken Khama’s bait. The two legislators have apologised to [continue reading]

source: BOPA
12 April, 2010

GABORONE – Health Ministry suspended the use of DDT chemical for control of mosquitoes in 1997 not because of any ill-effects associated with it but because all reputable manufacturers had closed down hence making it difficult to source it.

According to Assistant Minister of Health, Mr Gaotlhaetse Matlhabaphiri, the use of DDT was discontinued internationally for many uses but not for public health purposes.

Mr Matlhabaphiri said its use in the control of malaria was still recommended by leading international organisations such as World Health Organisation (WHO) who state that provided basic safety measures were put in place the use of DDT was safe for humans.

He said several studies had been undertaken over the years to investigate the potential adverse effects of DDT on humans but not a single study unequivocally proved that appropriate use of DDT was harmful to people or [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

The Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) will in its first two years of operation focus on courses that the country has an acute shortage of and that can also share facilities.

“We have decided to start with programmes that the industry has a shortage in, for instance the college of engineering will kick start with geological, mining, geo-environmental and computer science engineering which are in high demand at the moment,” Vice Chancellor Kweku Bentil said.

Bentil added that these programmes would also share facilities such as laboratories and professors.

BIUST currently has a memorandum of understanding with Akita University from Japan, and is expected to tap from its vast technical experience in the research of mines and mineralogy. The biggest dividend to this marriage is the possibility of establishing a mining museum in Selebi-Phikwe. A visiting Japanese delegation from Akita, together with the BIUST staff visited one of the shafts at [continue reading]

source: IOL
April 13 2010 at 07:18AM
By Colleen Dardagan

The organisers of events requiring municipal services which go ahead without official approval during the World Cup could find themselves in trouble with the law and shut down without warning, say city officials.

In an advertisement placed in The Mercury yesterday, the city’s strategic projects unit called for applications from people intending to hold events “within the municipal boundaries” during the World Cup, which include “a parade, procession, race, concert, show, exhibition, festival, ceremony or any similar event of a sporting, cultural or recreational nature, including but not limited to fan camps, public viewing areas, temporary accommodation, 2010 concerts and parties”.

Quoting the Gatherings Act 205 of 1993, the advertisement warns that any [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

SELEBI-PHIKWE: Bottlestore owners here have been ordered to stop selling ice cubes, cigarettes, bottle openers, gift bags, drinking glasses, cooler bags and snacks.

Speaking during a meeting with bottlestore owners last week, the Chief Finance and Development Planning Officer of Selebi-Phikwe Town Council, Lopang Pule, said the law proscribes the sale of these goods in bottle stores. “A bottle store is allowed to sell beverages in sealed bottles and they must not be consumed on the premises,” Pule said. “The business may be opened any day except on Sundays, on Christmas Day and Good Friday.” He said selling the proscribed items was getting out of hand in Selebi-Phikwe and advised the entrepreneurs to abide by the law in order to avoid being charged. “I don’t want to see a bottle opener in a bottlestore because it means you are opening bottles for your customers. It does not matter even if it’s a soft drink you open because a bottlestore is a [continue reading]

source: BOPA
12 April, 2010

GABORONE – Three professors from Akita University in Japan are in Botswana to explore chances of developing a research centre.

The delegation last week addressed a media briefing where the two universities also discussed advantageous opportunities of their partnership since October 2009.

BIUST vice chancellor Professor Kweku Bentil, said they partnered with Akita to facilitate exchange of lecturers and students, do collaborative research and for technical assistance.

Through this partnership, Prof. Bentil said they had also managed to submit a joint proposal to Japan International Cooperation Agency, requesting for funding to develop a research centre in Botswana.

When briefing the Japanese delegate about BIUST human resource, infrastructure and academic issues, Prof Bentil pointed out that [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

That profitability has returned to the mining sector can be seen in latest data indicating that earnings from the country’s mines for the first two months of the year have already eclipsed that of the first quarter of 2009.

Diamond exports for the first quarter of last year amounted to P1.5 billion while for January and February 2010 alone, the industry has already earned P3 billion. Analysts believe the higher figures for this year are more a reflection of higher diamond demand and prices, although Debswana cut back production in the first quarter of 2009 due to low gemstone prices.

According to estimates from Harry Winston – a diamond company with production and retail interests – after plummeting in September 2008, rough diamond prices have generally recovered to pre-recession levels.

Recovery is being driven by demand in China, India, Europe and increasingly the United States, that has traditionally been the main consumer of [continue reading]

12 April 2010

The Fifa World Cup trophy is set to arrive in South Africa on the final leg of its global tour, starting in the Western Cape on 7 May before returning to Gauteng province ahead of the World Cup kick-off at Soccer City on 11 June.

The World Cup trophy began its tour at the Fifa headquarters in Zurich in September last year and has already toured 83 countries.

To date, nearly 200 000 fans across the African continent have attended trophy tour events, while 37 heads of state have greeted the trophy’s arrival in their country, including Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba, Ghanaian President John Kurfour and Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

“Millions of South Africans will get an opportunity to see the Fifa World Cup trophy up close, and some who would have won competition tickets will have a special moment of taking a picture with the trophy, and participate in celebrations as it moves across all nine provinces,” Coca-Cola’s World Cup project GM Onwell Msomi said in [continue reading]