Archive for September 20th, 2010

source: Sunday Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter

After recent reports that the Government was considering scaling down the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST), fresh reports have surfaced that the university has lost the services of Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration.)

It has also emerged that construction, which is currently ongoing in Palapye, is behind schedule, which may result in yet another postponement of the opening date.

Although the members of staff who passed information to The Sunday Standard indicated that Dr Julia Saurazas had serious differences with Vice Chancellor Kweku Bentil over key policy aspects, the university’s Director of Communications and Publicity said the departed academic could not keep up with the high demands of setting up an ambitious project such as [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Tererai Karimakwenda
17 September, 2010

A group representing private business leaders in Zimbabwe has called on the unity government to delay holding elections for at least five years. The Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe (Emcoz), made the appeal to the three principals in the coalition, Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, saying the economy needed time to recover and stabilize.

According to the Zimbabwe Independent newspaper Emcoz chairman David Govere told business leaders at a Social Dialogue attended by Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe in Bulawayo recently, that it would be retrogressive to conduct elections next year.

Govere explained that the elections, which are currently being planned for next year, could reverse the economic gains made since the creation of the coalition government two years ago, saying a delay would “consolidate the current and ongoing healing and stabilising actions which then ultimately lead to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

There was no question that there was ample room and need for independent power producers (IPPs) and cogenerators in South Africa, as the power market was way too large to be served by only one player, Norconsulting and CIC Energy representative Tore Horvei said on Tuesday.

He told delegates at the Cogeneration World Africa 2010 conference that a country and its economy could be at risk by relying on only one large electricity supplier.

Horvei noted that the latest capital costs for both Eskom’s new Medupi and Kusile coal-fired power stations had likely been underestimated.

Further, a one-year delay in the Medupi power station would likely result in an additional R11-billion in finance costs, while the expected two- to three-year delay in the Kusile power station would likely add an [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter

BP has clinched a deal to sell its Botswana operations to Trafigura, a multinational company, which has been linked with worldwide accusations of bribery, sanction busting and smuggling and improper waste disposal. BP announced earlier this year that it would be pulling out of Botswana, Zambia, Malawi and Namibia, following the company’s strategic review. BP Botswana is the largest oil company in the country. It has 30 fuel stations and lucrative contracts with Air Botswana, the BDF, BCL, Debswana Mines and the Central Transport Organisation (CTO).

The deal will make Trafigura the biggest oil company in Botswana.

BP Botswana General Manager, Mahube Mpugwa, would not discuss the deal to sell to Trafigura and instead referred all enquiries to Christine Martmann of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Five new coal sites uncovered by local and international geologists could hold 2.8 billion tonnes of coal, thousands of times more than the country’s current coal production of about one million tonnes per annum.

The country’s sole coal producer, Morupule Colliery Limited, holds 83 billion tonnes of coal in its concession area. The latest finds indicate that Botswana’s estimated 212 billion tonnes of coal are spread across the north and east of the country.

According to Analytika Holdings’ Director, Alan Golding, the new and undeveloped coal sites include Sowa Pan, Dukwe, Lechana-Tshimoyapula, Moiyabana and Takatokwane.

Although in the past geological tests have taken place in the five areas, local geological firm, Analytika, teamed up with the Prospecting Licence (PL) holders of the finds to upgrade resource studies. By further drilling, sampling and studying of [continue reading]

source: News24
2010-09-20 08:15
Duncan Alfreds

Cape Town – A company has launched a free SMS service that allows users to have two-way communication between cellphones and a phone and computer.

“There’s no real free service out there,” Free SMS CEO Daniel Schwartzkopff told News24.

“We get quite a lot of people who say, ‘there’s always a registration fee, or subscription fee, but our service is completely free,” he added.

The service was developed by Capetonians Schwartzkopff, a 21-year-old chemical engineering honours student, and his partner, software engineer and architect, Jörg Wunderlich. It allows users to send and receive SMSes to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Local diamond cutting and polishing company and DTCB sightholder, Lazare Kaplan Botswana (LKB), says it is in a healthy financial position and it is pressing ahead with the delayed US$333 million financing facility meant to benefit the 16 sightholder companies in Botswana.

This week, the international media was awash with reports that LKB’s parent company, Lazare Kaplan International’s future was uncertain following its latest filing to the USA’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in which the company said that it was unsure whether it would be continuing to operate.

In an interview in Gaborone this week, managing director of LKB, Alfred Dube, quashed reports that his company is in [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter

University of Botswana students support their lecturers during their on-going industrial action.
Amantle Rebaone, a UB student, told the Sunday Standard that the current strike has inconvenienced her but feels the Staff is justified in their complaints.

“Our lecturers deserve a pay rise; they work just as hard as all the administration people. The Administration issues need to be settled soon because it’s disrupting our classes. Yesterday I went to the library and there was no service offered,” she lamented.

The escalating tension between staff and UB management has left many students in limbo as there seems to be no clear indication as to whether the on-going strike by the institutions staff will end soon.

Some students have been left wondering what is going to [continue reading]

source: News24
2010-09-19 22:02

Johannesburg – There is nothing wrong with businesses investing in any political party, President Jacob Zuma said at the ANC’s national general council (NGC) gala dinner in Durban on Sunday night.

“Funding for political parties is somehow viewed with suspicion by some commentators in this country and there should be no reason for that,” he said.

“However, wise business sense tells you that investing in the ANC, which is supported by more than 65% of the population, is good value for your money.”

He thanked companies present at the dinner for their “good business sense”.

Businesses played an important role in [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Tichaona Sibanda
17 September 2010

The South African government will next week lobby for the removal of targeted sanctions against Robert Mugabe and his ZANU PF officials, during the 65th session of the United Nations in New York.

This was confirmed by the International Relations and Co-operation Minister, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, in Cape Town on Thursday. She told journalists the targeted sanctions were not helping Zimbabwe.

‘Whenever we get an opportunity, we will be lobbying for the removal of these restrictions against certain individuals or institutions in Zimbabwe, because we think it’s not necessarily helping in making sure Zimbabwe moves forward,’ she said.

The week long annual UN General Assembly begins next week Tuesday. Mugabe, as he has done for the last 30 years, will lead Zimbabwe’s delegation to [continue reading]