Archive for August 30th, 2010

source: Mmegi
EPHRAIM KEORENG
Staff Writer

Linguist Dr Thapelo Otlogetswe together with some professionals has created a Google Search interface tool that allows a user to access Google in Setswana.

In an interview with Mmegi yesterday, Dr Otlogetswe said working together with Pontsho Puoesele, who works for an IT company in Botswana, Gao Mosweu, an employee of the Innovation Hub, they created the Setswana version of Google search. They also worked with 10 University of Botswana (UB) final year students, it has been revealed.

For every user in Botswana, the home page that comes out when you open the Google search engine website, http://www.google.com, you will be met by the Setswana-written homepage.

“It’s like a window that you use to look into the internet. It opens a door for you to [continue reading]

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source: IOL
August 30 2010 at 08:36AM
By Gaye Davis, Xolani Mbanjwa and Aziz Hartley

Intense behind-the-scenes moves are under way to bring the government and unions together for informal talks in a bid to break the deadlock and avert the possibility of the crippling public sector strike lasting a third week.

Analysts have said the strike – and the cracks developing between President Jacob Zuma and his allies, Cosatu and the ANC Youth League, represent the greatest challenge and the weakest point of his administration so far.

Cosatu is piling on the pressure, with the labour federation’s secretary-general Zwelinzima Vavi warning of a “total shutdown” of the economy, by drawing in private sector unions in a wave of sympathy strikes, set to begin on [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
ISAIAH MOREWAGAE
Staff Writer

The strict preventive measures employed by Debswana Diamond Company at its Completely Automated Recovery Plant (CARP) of Orapa Mines are the central part of the ongoing spy camera case before Lobatse High Court Judge, Isaac Lesetedi.

The security measures include strip searches, forbidding handshakes, hand to cover mouth when sneezing during working hours and installation of spy cameras in the toilets in the ‘Red Area’, which was used by 43 CARP employees.

They are now demanding P5 million each as compensation for breach of their human rights after discovering a surveillance camera in the toilets they have been using.

An artisan boilermaker in the Red Area of CARP, Galetshoge Mabiletsa (38), told the court yesterday that they never knew anything about surveillance cameras in the toilets.

Mabiletsa said he was embarrassed and disappointed that such a degrading situation can happen to him. “I even cried when I discovered this as I knew my privacy has [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
BRIAN BENZA
Staff Writer

Government can potentially raise more than twice the P4.3 billion it collected in Value Added Tax (VAT) last year if proper measures are taken to plug leakages, the World Bank reckons.

Although the VAT rate is currently at 12 percent having been increased from 10 percent early this year, the World Bank estimates that the effective rate of VAT in Botswana is only around four percent due to leakages blamed on many factors, including non-compliance and a long list of exemptions.

This means government has the potential to multiply at least by two-and-half times the P4.3 billion in VAT revenue it raked in [continue reading]

source: News24
2010-08-29 20:20
Jan Raath

Harare – Zimbabwe’s bankrupt central bank is to retrench 85% of its bloated staff complement to help it move back into the black and function as a reliable national bank, according to Finance Minister Tendai Biti.

The lay-offs will mark the end of what analysts say was the use of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to prop up President Robert Mugabe’s party after years of misrule exhausted the country’s finances and led to economic collapse in 2008.

“There are about 2 600 employees at the bank but the board will reduce the staff to around 400,” Biti was quoted as saying in the state-run Sunday Mail newspaper.

He said the slashing of staff was the result of new legislation to restrict the bank’s operations to managing monetary policy, monitoring the banking industry and to act as [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
BRIAN BENZA
Staff Writer

Botswana-focused uranium hopeful, Impact Minerals, has discovered large quantities of uranium deposits in the Central District, adding impetus to the Australia Stock Exchange-listed miner’s quest to open a mine in Botswana soon.

In a statement circulated to shareholders this week, Impact says it has unearthed significant resources in the Shoshong and Ikongwe areas, some of them very close to the surface.

“Soil geochemistry results from Impact’s Shoshong and Ikongwe Prospects within its 100 percent owned Botswana Uranium Project have defined numerous significant uranium in soil anomalies up to 8km long and 2km wide,” says a statement from the company.

“At Shoshong, at least five targets for follow-up work within near surface calcretes have been identified while at [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
The Nation (Nairobi)
Justus Ondari
29 August 2010

Nairobi — The Chinese influence, in the form of its people, investment and business, is sweeping across the African continent like a wild fire.

Be it financing and executing massive infrastructure projects — roads, power plants and mineral extraction, or small time commercial ventures such as textile, electronic and other household goods, the Chinese are literally driving the African economies.

It is a phenomenon that has triggered a strong wave of reaction from the various African countries, including Kenyans, ranging from open-arm welcome to indifference, to even hostility bordering on Sino-phobia.

An expert in Sino-Africa relations, Dr Martyn Davies, warns that while China is a significant investor in Southeast Asia, one can hardly hear any criticism against the Chinese from [continue reading]