Archive for July 8th, 2010

source: The Botswana Gazette
Written by NCHIDZI SMARTS
Wednesday, 07 July 2010 12:00

The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 4.1 percent in the first quarter of 2010, according to estimates released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

This reflects the continued recovery in the Botswana economy since the contraction in 2009, which is now estimated at -3.7 percent. Output in the first quarter was 36.4 percent higher than the same period the previous year, mainly due to increased production by the diamond mines, which were temporarily closed in early 2009.

Real GDP increased by 4.1 percent in March compared to the revised 15.4 percent increase registered during the fourth quarter last year.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has also said that according to data the main contributor to the March 2010 increase was mining which recorded an increase of [continue reading]

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source: Mmegi
STAFF WRITER

Government’s debt is still within the statutory caps which limit it to borrowing within 20 percent of the Gross Domestic Product, the Assistant Finance Minister has said.

Answering a Parliamentary question on Monday, Charles Tibone said at present, government’s external debts comprised P10.5 billion owed to the African Development Bank and P1.2 billion owed to the World Bank’s International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).

The African Development Bank loans are for budgetary support and the Pandamatenga Agricultural Infrastructure project.

Apart from these, government issued bonds and treasury bills valued at P2.6 billion during the 2009/10 financial year.

Tibone said the figures translated to [continue reading]

source: IOL
July 07 2010 at 09:38AM

Eskom has warned 11 Free State municipalities, representing more than 50 towns, that it would disconnect their power supply if they did not pay their electricity bills by July 20.

On Wednesday, Democratic Alliance deputy shadow minister for energy David Ross said the Free State government should intervene in the matter to prevent an energy crisis in the province.

The municipalities which would be affected by the notices were Mangaung (Bloemfontein), Matjhabeng (Welkom), Moqhaka (Kroonstad), Ngwathe (Parys), Dihlabeng (Bethlehem), Naledi, Kopanong, Mohokare, Mafube, Masilonyana and Nala.

The DA had officially requested the Free State MEC for co-operative governance Mosebenzi Zwane and [continue reading]

source: The Botswana Gazette
Written by AUBREY LUTE
Wednesday, 07 July 2010 00:00

• OP officer said to have attempted suicide after interrogation by PAC
• Skelemani did not follow procedures in approving the funds The money used to establish the Directorate of Intelligence Security (DIS) was sourced from funds set aside for the National Disaster Relief Fund, according to a government source.

It is understood that Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) interrogated an Office of the President official who was partly responsible for authorising the money. The Gazette was informed that the officer attempted suicide after he was questioned by the PAC.

The NDRF was established by government in 1996 to provide assistance to natural disaster victims, to meet their life sustaining needs such as shelter, food and sanitary facilities. It is administered by [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
EPHRAIM KEORENG
Staff Writer

Olebile Gaborone’s exit from the Botswana National Front (BNF) presidential race yesterday could now mean that the seat of Leader of Opposition will be up for grabs when Parliament next sits to consider candidates for the portfolio.

In the meantime, the Botswana National Front central committee, scheduled to sit during the President’s Day holidays, will also be asked to consider who from among its sitting candidates will be suitable for the job, according to publicity secretary, Moeti Mohwasa.

The congress choice stands a good chance especially that the BNF holds a narrow majority of six MPs, in comparison to five for the BCP with independent parliamentarian, Nehemiah Modubule on his own.

It would be significant how he uses his vote because it [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
MBONGENI MGUNI
Staff Writer

Batswana in South Africa between June 01 and 20, 2010 spent US$4.3 million (P30.1 million), making the country the second heaviest African spender at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, recent data has revealed.

Statistics rank Botswana among the top ten spenders in South Africa between June 1 and 20, 2010, a list that also includes some of the world’s richest nations.

Expenditure by Batswana was 22 percent higher than levels recorded over the same period last year, second only to Mozambique, whose citizens spent [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
STAFF WRITER

Lobatse High Court judge, Justice Tshosa, yesterday postponed to Thursday afternoon the case in which the five biggest unions in the country – Botswana Land Boards and Local Authorities Workers Union (BLLAWU), Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU), Botswana Secondary School Teachers Union (BOSETU), Botswana Teachers Union (BTU), National Amalgamated Local and Central Government and Para-statal Workers Union – are seeking to stop government’s move to de-recognise them, instead pleading that the Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM) should extend recognition of their rights.

Prior to the ruling made by the judge that the case be heard on Thursday there was a verbal exchange in court between the lawyers representing the two parties.

Tshiamo Rantao, representing the unions, argued that since they had been issued [continue reading]

source: News24
2010-07-07 17:16

Cape Town – Recent claims of reporters taking payments to write stories could be an indication of deeper corruption in the media, an Eastern Cape journalists’ organisation said on Wednesday.

The Mandela Bay Media Association was commenting on a confession by former Cape Argus political reporter Ashley Smith that he and a colleague took money to write favourable reports about then-premier Ebrahim Rasool.

The association, which counts local radio and print journalists among its members, said that if this was true, journalism practitioners should ask themselves very hard questions about [continue reading]

source: The Botswana Gazette
Written by AUBREY LUTE
Wednesday, 07 July 2010 00:00

• Synthetic diamonds could be threat to natural gems
• 70% of women would buy synthetic if its cheaper Although there is a significant uncertainty as to how consumers will react to synthetic diamonds because of the current low volumes of production, market research studies suggest that up to 70% of women would accept or buy a synthetic diamond if prices were lower than those of natural diamonds.

The Gazette has learnt that synthetics are likely to be a bigger risk to the fashion segment than the bridal segment.

Experts have warned that the diamond industry would require coordinated action so as to engage in some marketing project geared towards differentiating natural diamonds from synthetics.

As for Botswana, the biggest producer of natural diamonds both by quality and volume, can only hope that De Beers, through its Element Six arm is not encouraged to enter the [continue reading]