Archive for October 18th, 2010

source: Sunday Standard
by Spencer Mogapi

Botswana is likely to experience power outages that were so much a regular feature of 2008 and 2009.
Unless the Morupule B project in Palapye is completed well on time, the power cuts, popularly known as load-shedding, are again expected to plod back and start haunting the prospects of Botswana’s economy, the recovery of which has, to date, remained fragile, slow and uncertain.

Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Ponatshego Kedikilwe, has confirmed that due to long turnaround time for energy projects, Morupule B, which is already under construction, remains Botswana’s only hope in the short to medium terms.

The Minister, however, reiterated his position that Government will continue to facilitate conditions to allow Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to enter the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

FRANCISTOWN: For the first time ever, the Pula could bite the dust against the South African Rand, a spokesperson of the Bank of Botswana, Andrew Sesinyi, has said in an interview.

Sesinyi, a retired civil servant and author who started working for BoB on a contract basis on September 20, was responding to a Mmegi inquiry.

The Botswana currency fetched only R1.o4 for P1.00. From August 1976 when Botswana formally withdrew from the Rand Monetary Area (RMA) and introduced its own currency and pegged it to the US dollar at P1 = US$1.15, the Pula has never fallen below the Rand.

The Pula was on a par with the Rand, which was also [continue reading]

No more Fongkongs

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

South Africa Revenue Services (SARS) has frozen the imports of Japanese cars from Durban to Botswana since last week Thursday, in what some say is part of the taxman’s crackdown on the largely Indian owned ‘fong-kong’ dealers there who have been dodging tax.

Others say the freezing of the import cars to Botswana has been on the cards after South Africa froze the sale of cars to Namibia and Zambia last year. Those who say discontinuation of selling of the imports to Botswana was expected point to rumours that were rife in December when some Durban car dealers contemplated relocating to Namibian shores to flee the crack-down by the South African government.

There has also been talk that the South African government has been under [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard

The much anticipated blue print that will give Mmamabula and other Independent Power Producers the green light has come as a disappointment to CIC Energy as it may delay the project further.
South Africa’s Department of Energy last week released the executive summary of the draft integrated resources plan (IRP2010) for public comment.

“CIC Energy is disappointed by the first draft of the IRP2010 as it is not a realistic solution to the electricity crisis in South Africa,” Erica Belling, the company spokesperson said.

Mmamabula is an export oriented project that was to fill South Africa’s power shortfall, but the publication of the draft means Africa’s largest economy may require CIC electricity at a later time.
The realisation of the project is dependent on Eskom or South Africa signing the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) that will allow CIC to link its grid to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Six local and South African banks have teamed up to provide the P1.4 billion required for the expansion of Morupule Colliery.

This comes amid reports that construction at the adjacent power station is moving ahead of schedule.

Morupule Colliery is expanding from one to three million tonnes of coal per year in order to meet increased demand from the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC)’s Morupule A and Morupule B power stations, which are presently under construction. When completed, Morupule A and B will pump out 820 megawatts, consuming 2.8 million tonnes of coal per annum. With development ongoing at the P11 billion Morupule B project, the commencement of [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Kagiso Madibana

Despite workers’ reservations, Debswana is reportedly making strides with the implementation of the Operations Review Project as well as its privatising and outsourcing project.

The controversial process that will change the way the mining company conducts business, recently came under heavy criticism because of the negative impacts it has on the job security of the company’s current employees, with about 1278 at risk of losing their jobs. Debswana employs about 6000 people.

Trade Unions have even gone to the extent of handing over petitions to the Managing Director, Blackie Marole, against the initiative.

Marole recently wrote an internal memorandum to his employees in which he affirmed that [continue reading]

18 October 2010

The government and senior editors of South Africa’s major newspapers have agreed to take steps to improve relations between the authorities and the press in the country, with both parties agreeing on the need for a “vibrant, diverse and critical” media sector to safeguard South Africa’s democracy.

A government delegation led by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and the South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) held a robust two-day meeting in Magaliesburg, North West on the weekend to discuss issues affecting the two parties – including the proposal for a media appeals tribunal.

The last time the government met with Sanef was in 2001, when relations between the two hit an [continue reading]