Archive for June, 2010

source: Mmegi

In a deal that should boost Botswana’s mining industry, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) on Friday made a C$5-million (P34 million) equity investment in Tsodilo Resources.

The funds from the World Bank subsidiary will be used to advance exploration at the Canada-based firm’s Ngamiland diamond and base metals project in northwest Botswana.

Tsodilo Resources Limited is a diamond, base and precious metal exploration company concentrating its exploration efforts on the southern portion of the Angola/Congo craton in northwest Botswana.

A statement from the Toronto-listed company says the [continue reading]

source: Fin24
Jun 29 2010 22:39 P

Johannesburg – The largest union representing Eskom workers have decided to go ahead with a strike next week, which may leave households and businesses in the dark during the World Cup.

The National Union of Mineworkers’ (NUM) leaders have voted on Thursday to go on strike at Eskom from next week.

Eskom human resources managing director Bhabhalazi Bulungu said the public utility was waiting for formal communication from NUM and was still holding out hope of meeting the union on Wednesday.

Eskom would continue to seek dialogue while trying to prevent a strike.

“There are many options we can do. We can go to [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)
Sipetile Sixishe
29 June 2010

South Africa has sold R13 billion in arms to countries blacklisted by the arms act, NGO Ceasefire claims.

Ceasefire has compiled a database containing information on South Africa’s arms exports to other countries and released its findings to the media today.

“Arms are not potatoes, we need transparency to foster confidence in the countries that we trade with,” says Rob Thomson of Ceasefire.

Thomson reported that the National Conventional Arms Committee hasn’t strictly adhered to the requirement of the arms act. For each criterion in the act there have been at least 6 recipient countries that failed to meet the requirements. South Africa has sold arms to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Lekopanye Mooketsi

In his latest decree, Kgosikgolo Kgafela II has banned shebeens in the Kgatkeng District. At a Kgotla meeting addressed by their king on Saturday, the Bakgatla unanimously agreed that shebeens in the district should be closed with immediate effect.

Kgafela declared that by Sunday no liquor should be sold at any home. “We are going to stop the selling of liquor from homes with immediate effect,” Kgafela declared.

He said the regiments were going to see to it that the ban is implemented. Kgafela said the regiments were going to embark on a month long campaign to eradicate the selling of [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Godfrey Ganetsang

President Ian Khama on Friday raked Gaborone City Council officers over hot coals for failing to collect litter. Addressing a full council meeting last week, Khama expressed concern at the filthy state of Gaborone and urged the council to marshal their resources to ensure that the city is kept clean.

“I am concerned by the filthy state of our capital city. Remember that Gaborone houses government and provides a mirror through which the international community and tourists judge our country” he said.

Khama urged GCC to network with other councils and the private sector to ensure that Gaborone is kept aesthetically and environmentally appealing to visitors and potential investors.

When opening the full council meeting last week, Gaborone Mayoress Veronica Lesole said GCC is awaiting the delivery of four refuse compactor trucks from [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Alex Bell
28 June 2010

There has been a shocked and outraged reaction to claims by Mines Minister Obert Mpofu that two leading international diamond rights groups had tried to bribe him, by offering their support in exchange for diamond profits.

The groups Global Witness and Partnership Africa Canada (PAC) on Monday moved to reject the allegations that they offered to support Zimbabwe’s bid to resume diamond exports in exchange for a 1% cut of the profits. The allegation surfaced at the end of the week-long meeting of the Kimberley Process (KP) diamond certification scheme, where Zimbabwe’s compliance with the scheme’s minimum requirements was hotly debated.

“We reject outright this malicious and unsubstantiated allegation. At no point did any of the non-governmental organisations at the meeting make any kind of offer of conditional support for exports. The violence that continues to plague Zimbabwe’s Chiadzwa diamond fields – and the government’s blatant disregard for KP rules – indisputably signify that no exports should take [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

President Ian Khama has been accused of trying to govern the country like his own household, undermining transparency and protocols that govern the constitution. Botswana Congress Party (BCP) spokesman, Dumelang Saleshando told Mmegi that by barring private media from covering cabinet visits to councils, Khama thinks he can “come and make his own rules, circumventing the existing ones”.

The Gaborone Central MP was speaking after opposition councillors walked out of a full council meeting yesterday attended by Khama and the cabinet at the Gaborone City Council. The councillors took the action to protest the prevention of the private media from [continue reading]

28 June 2010

Compulsory basic damage insurance on vehicles is being considered by the government, but appears to be a long way from becoming a reality.

“It’s going to take a while… we’re still in the very early brainstorming stage on this,” transport ministry spokesperson Logan Maistry told Sapa on Friday.

He was responding to questions after Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele’s announcement on Thursday, in a written reply to a parliamentary question, that the government was “considering making third party insurance a requirement in South Africa”.

Maistry confirmed that the insurance being considered was for damage to vehicles, and should not to be confused with the injury and death cover that drivers, passengers and other accident victims currently have in terms of the Road Accident Fund, paid for by a levy on [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

All nine opposition councillors in the Gaborone City Council (GCC) walked out on President Ian Khama and his cabinet yesterday citing ‘procedural flaws’. The councillors staged a walkout shortly after the media was told to leave.

“I stood up to seek clarification as to why the media had to leave since this was a full council meeting, which according to procedure should be open to the public including the media. The answer was that this was a cabinet meeting and the media had to leave. Now that was not the answer we got yesterday from the city clerk who assured us that the meeting would be a [continue reading]

source: Fin24
Jun 28 2010 08:03
Dewald van Rensburg

Johannesburg – The impasse between Eskom and the unions can be resolved if the parties agree to return to the table, Kannan Lakmeeharan, Eskom’s MD of systems and planning, told Reuters on Sunday.

There has been progress on both sides, he maintains.

According to Lakmeeharan, Eskom nevertheless has contingency plans to keep the lights on during the 2010 FIFA World Cup if the unions decide to strike.

On Friday, the three unions negotiating with the electricity supplier announced new wage demands that were far below what they had so far officially requested.

They were now demanding a 9% wage increase and a R2 500 housing allowance, while Eskom’s latest offer had [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Chief of the armed forces, President Ian Khama, has extended the contract of the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) commander, Lieutenant General Tebogo Masire, military sources say.

Masire took over from Lieutenant General Matshwenyego Fisher in 2006. He would have retired this year, having reached the mandatory retirement age of 55. Senior army officers are required to retire at 55.

The previous commanders retired at that age except for Khama who retired at 45 in 1998.

However, according to sources, Khama has extended Masire’s contract by two years.

Masire became one of the BDF’s initial officer cadets in the late 70’s, soon after the army was [continue reading]

source: BOPA
10 June, 2010

PALAPYE – The second Palapye Sub Council session commenced this week with councillor for Lerala, Mr Kabo Ketshogile withdrawing a motion of no confidence on the Sub-Council Chairman and his deputy.

In what seemed to be a debate, Mr Ketshogile declined on three accounts to table his motion, saying he will only do so on the date stipulated in the programme.

This resulted in the council adjourning for a few minutes after which it was agreed that the council had the power to switch agenda items when the need arose, hence a conclusion was reached that the motion needed urgency.

When withdrawing the motion, Mr Ketshogile noted that the council was ambushing him by expecting him to table his [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Alex Bell
09 June 2010

The South African government is being urged to immediately intervene in ongoing attacks against South African farmers in Zimbabwe, where at least 16 people have faced aggressive land seizures in the past week.

The renewed onslaught against farmers, which has resulted in a number of forced evictions and arrests, has also been directed at five South African citizens. The home of Mike Odendaal on the Wolwedraai farm in Chipinge has been vandalised and his employees have been driven from the property. Mr P. Hapelt from Grasslands farm in Somabhula is being terrorised by farm invaders and his workers have also being intimidated. Goff Carbutt from Oscardale farm was arrested earlier this month and has since been barred from entering his property.

At the same time, game on the Denlynian Ranch owned by Ian Fergusson have reportedly been slaughtered, after the property was invaded in April and looted by suspected ZANU PF supporters. Meanwhile members of the police force have cut the power supply to the Highfields farm in Nyamandlovu, leaving Gary Godfrey’s 10 000 chickens, 130 cattle and 260 sheep without access to any water. It is understood that Mines Minister Obert Mpofu is behind this cruelty, and has been trying to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

A recent research conducted by Mmegi has shown that urbanites have had enough of Botswana Television (Btv), which they accuse of lacking innovation and creativity.

Interviews with 50 urban dwellers of varying ages and backgrounds revealed that many people are choosing to desert the national broadcaster over a number of reasons. The survey, which was conducted in both Setswana and English, targeted both males and females of all age groups although most of the respondents were youthful.

“Not meaning to be rude, programming at our TV station really leaves a lot to be desired. The station spends too much time airing repeats rather than current issues.

A lot of money is spent on programmes that do not entertain at all or benefit us anything,” quipped Kabo Kebaimetse of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The amended Tourism Act will revoke licences of operators who fail to attain at least a one-star grading after one year of assessment, as Government and industry players tighten quality standards and sector competitiveness.

Recently gazetted amendments to the Tourism Act also make the grading of all tourism facilities and operations compulsory, as opposed to the previous regime in which grading was voluntary. Affected facilities include all hotels, lodges, guesthouses, safari operations and other travel and tourism products and services.

Under the revamped law, all operators are required to approach the Botswana Tourism Organisation to initiate assessment for grading of [continue reading]