Archive for September 27th, 2010

source: Sunday Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
26-09-2010

Government has set in motion a process that will see the alcohol levy go up by a further 10 percent.
This follows a meeting President Ian Khama had with the Alcohol Committee on Thursday at which he instructed senior civil servants present to kickstart an internal government process through a cabinet memorandum proposing the increase.

The levy currently stands at 30 percent.

Khama’s decision to increase the levy has, however, not gone without challenge.
A source that was part of the deliberations said there was widespread dissent at the Alcohol Committee meeting.

Concerns were raised that even at 30 percent the levy had proved very unpopular, divisive and [continue reading]

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source: Mmegi
MBONGENI MGUNI
Staff Writer

The Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) could abandon the Morupule B Phase II, under which 600 megawatts would have been pumped into the national grid, adding onto the 600 MW expected from Phase I, which is presently under construction.

Originally, it was planned that Morupule B Phase I and II would jointly add 1,200 to the national grid and – together with 120 megawatts from Morupule A – would have sealed the nation’s power needs in the long-term.

This week, however, it was revealed that strategists within the BPC and government are considering scrapping Phase II and instead adding two units to Phase I. Thus, Phase I would consist of 900 megawatts when complete.

BPC Director of Transmissions, Edward Rugoyi said the possibility of adding two units to Phase I and [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Zimbabwe Independent (Harare)
24 September 2010
editorial

It is now apparent that Sadc and its facilitator in the Zimbabwe political negotiations, South African President Jacob Zuma, do not have teeth that bite and even have difficulty barking.

And besides Sadc and Zuma, President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his deputy Arthur Mutambara have betrayed Zimbabweans by failing to discharge their mandate to heal the nation and take charge of its social development.

The regional bloc at its summit in Namibia last month gave a 30-day deadline to Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Mutambara to resolve outstanding issues in the global political agreement (GPA) signed two years ago.

The deadline expired last Wednesday with no movement whatsoever towards the resolution of the sticking points – the rehiring of central bank czar Gideon Gono, appointment of Attorney-General Johannes Tomana and the swearing in of MDC-T treasurer Roy Bennett as Deputy Agriculture minister. Sadly, Sadc and [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by MORULA MORULA
26-09-2010

Government has warned contractors who get paid and fail to finish the projects that they will be followed up and made to pay the money as well as penalties.

This warning was made by the Director of Roads, Kabo Kote, during a press conference he addressed jointly with the Minister of Transport and communications, Frank Ramsden.

Kote warned the defaulters that they will be banned from tendering for government projects in future.

Ramsden revealed that some of the defaulting contractors had abandoned projects soon after being paid 10 percent demobilisation payments whilst others have just piled sand on [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Prof Malema
26-09-2010

Bank of Botswana (BoB) leapt to the defence of its Monetary Policy while at the same time conceding that local commercial banks are making “abnormal profits” that raise concern through lending interest rates.

The move by the central bank follows an article carried by Sunday Standard a fortnight ago that stated that local commercial banks were making a killing out of Bank of Botswana Certificates (Bobcs) and the lending interest rates.

The Sunday Standard article was based on Professor Roman Grynberg’s research that showed that, under the current tools used by Bank of Botswana, commercial banks are making huge profits from unbelievable interest rates while at the same time getting huge returns from Bobcs at no risk.
He said the huge interest rate spread have enabled the banks to ‘consistently earn higher rate of return on [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
BAME PIET
Staff Writer

Land purchasing by foreign syndicates operating in the country has raised concern of a possible reversal of government citizen empowerment schemes as more Batswana give in to the huge offers of money.

A highly placed source at government enclave revealed that Chinese, Indians, Nigerians and Zimbabweans are busy buying residential, commercial and even ploughing fields from Batswana who are enticed by the huge sums of money offered.

They later sell the plots for hefty sums making a killing in profits after they have made some developments, the source said.

The source revealed that targeted places are Gaborone and surrounding areas such as Tlokweng, Mogoditshane, Gabane and Metsimotlhabe.

The syndicates involve lawyers who are involved in [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Zimbabwe Independent (Harare)
Brian Chitemba
24 September 2010

Hundreds of locals living in South Africa are struggling to get legal documents because the Zimbabwean embassy and consulate in that country are failing to deal with the huge influx of illegal immigrants, a group involved in discussions with Pretoria over the issue has said.

The South African government has given Zimbabwean immigrants, estimated at between 1,5 to three million by different oganisations, until year end to regularise their stay or face deportation.

Those with illegal documents have an amnesty, as long as they manage to obtain a Zimbabwean passport and register with South African authorities before 31 December.

Zimbabwe Exiles Forum (ZEF), a Pretoria-based group that deals with immigrant rights issues, said yesterday the process has been marred by congestion, poor communication and neglect of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
MBONGENI MGUNI
Staff Writer

Debswana plans to cut its energy usage by 30 percent, saving millions of Pula in the annual cost of electricity, fuel and other energy sources at its Orapa, Letlhakane and Jwaneng Mines.

Annually, Debswana spends between P160 and P170 million on its electricity bill, consuming 85 and 90 megawatts at peak or 560 gigawatts per hour, the latter equivalent to 560 billion watts per hour. While BCL Mine is the country’s single biggest consumer of electricity, Debswana is the largest aggregated user, across its three mining operations, consuming about 20 percent of national electricity supplies.

Debswana Senior Manager Energy Conservation, Bernard Busani explained that the 30 percent energy savings being sought were in terms of the company’s energy per unit production or [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
27-09-2010

The recent demand by civil service unions that government should pay salaries on a 22 and 26 day month and additional allowances for nurses and teachers is expected to put more pressure on Botswana to reduce the size of its civil service.

A report by the International Monitory Fund (IMF) evaluating government employment and compensation among a number of countries, which was published this week, recommended, “An overall or selective nominal freeze of wage levels for a limited period of time. Assuming unchanged employment levels, this should result in a reduction in the compensation of employees, relative to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
BAME PIET
Staff Writer

A recent raid by officials from Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs and Office of the President found several security companies, among them Trails Ranger reportedly belonging to the wife of Broadhurst Customary Court president, Arnold Somolekae, on the wrong side of the law.

Trails Ranger was fined P5,000 for failure to issue IDs, display a license, avail records for inspection, failure to issue employment cards, paying below stipulated minimum wage rate and failure to exhibit minimum wage notice.

Chief security officer at the Office of the President, Enerst Nthobelang, confirmed in a telephone interview that his teams travelled throughout the country carrying out inspections on security companies and fined offenders.

He further confirmed that Somolekae went to [continue reading]

source: News24
2010-09-26 22:15

Johannesburg – President Jacob Zuma intends criss-crossing the country to visit the worst and best-performing government facilities.

“We will visit the best and the worst hospitals, police stations, home affairs offices, social grant pay points and others,” Zuma told reporters following the ANC’s national general council (NGC) held in Durban.

The president’s “hands-on” approach was expected to begin in November and last until the middle of 2011.

There would be a renewed focus on improving government performance, to enable the ANC to speed up service delivery.

“The renewal of the ANC will therefore run concurrently with the [continue reading]