Archive for November 1st, 2010

source: Mmegi
Staff writer

Government is targeting to cut the national budget deficit to P6 billion in the next financial year (2011/12) from this year’s estimated P12 billion as it aims to achieve a balanced budget in the next two years.

The cut translates into six percent of GDP.

After posting deficits since 2008 due to the global economic crisis, Botswana now aims to match its revenues with expenditure by the financial year 2012/13

In an interview on the sidelines of the inaugural Budget Pitso in Gaborone yesterday, the Secretary for Economic and Financial Policy Dr Taufila Nyamadzabo said for the next budget, the government aims to have a ceiling of P6 billion in deficit as revenues improve and expenditure is curtailed. The next national budget will be announced by the Minister of Finance and Development Planning in [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
BuaNews (Tshwane)
31 October 2010

Pretoria — President Jacob Zuma has announced a major reshuffle to his cabinet. A few ministries have new ministers and a host of new deputy ministers have been appointed.

Making the announcement on Sunday, President Zuma said after 17 months in government since his inauguration, the process of the reconfiguration of government and that of putting in place systems that change the way the administration works in order to improve service delivery had been completed.

He said during this time, government has studied the functioning of the current administration in order to ascertain what works and what needs to be changed or strengthened.

“We have taken a long and hard look at some of the departments with a view to strengthening some Ministries. We have noted that a few of them require the addition of Deputy Ministries to assist Ministers in carrying out their [continue reading]

Nthambeleni Gabara
1 November 2010

The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa has named Siemens SA as the preferred bidder to install a R961-million state-of-the-art signaling and communication system on the country’s commuter rail network from January 2011.

Making the announcement last week, Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) chief executive Lucky Montana said the current signaling system could no longer be considered sufficiently safe or reliable.

“Approximately 80% of the signaling installations have become obsolete, and the remainder not able to fully support modern and safe railway operations.”

Montana said the first phase of installation was expected to commence in January 2011, along with the construction of a new central Train Control Nerve Centre for Gauteng province.

“This massive investment is in line with Prasa’s critical priorities over the next three to five years of upgrading the existing passenger railway system and championing the adoption of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Botswana has over the years managed to reduce the level of poverty, President Ian Khama told the inaugural Pitso ya go Nyeletsa Lehuma in Mahalapye yesterday.

President Khama said statistics also show that the number of people living below the poverty datum line in Botswana has reduced from 59 percent in 1985/86 to 30 percent in 2002/03.

The percentage is expected to drop even further at the end of this year, he said.

“We await the statistics of Central Statistics Office (CSO) expected at the end of the year to give us the current statistics on poverty,” he added.

Giving an overview, the President said: “It is now 44 years since we attained independence. At the time of independence (in 1966) our country was then classified as one of the 10 poorest countries in the world, but Botswana is now classified as one of the middle-income countries.

So having any percentage of our people living below the poverty datum line is unacceptable.”

The President, who has been criss-crossing the countryside in [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Alex Bell
29 October 2010

Zimbabwean exiles in the UK have urged the British government not to deport any failed asylum seekers back to Zimbabwe before elections are held there next year.

About 300 Zimbabweans gathered at Lancaster House in London this week for a meeting to hear a senior Home Office official Phil Douglas answer questions on the sudden ending of the government’s four year moratorium on sending home failed Zimbabwean asylum seekers. Douglas dismissed fears that the move would influence the decision of a team of judges presently considering the Zimbabwe test case on returns, and insisted that independent courts would continue to decide on individual asylum cases.

According to UK based Zimbabwe pressure group, The Vigil, few Zimbabweans at the meeting were satisfied by Douglas’ explanations. According to a statement “there was laughter,” when Douglas said that returnees could ‘relocate’ to different areas. Many people expressed fears of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Failure to resolve a dispute over the lucrative air route between Johannesburg and Maun – the nearest airport to the Okavango swamps – means that neither South African Express nor Botswana Air is flying the route.

Botswana Air’s servicing of this route was terminated from October 1 and it is now only flying from Gaborone, which means that visitors to one of Botswana’s top tourist attractions have to stop off at Gaborone to get there.

South African Express CEO Inati Ntshanga told MPs yesterday that this “sad state of affairs” was due to the failure of negotiations to acquire equal access to the route.

South African Express was granted the right to fly from Johannesburg to Maun last year but this was later denied when Botswana’s aeronautical authority decided it was not ready to cope with a [continue reading]

source: IOL
October 31 2010 at 02:53pm
By Emsie Ferreira

The contentious Protection of Information Bill is heading for a redraft to narrow its scope, but the new version will not see the light this year, MPs said on Friday.

Parliament’s ad hoc committee processing the bill agreed to take as a starting point for a new draft, proposals by State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele to remove two highly-contested clauses.

“The minister of course does not have the power to amend the bill, but I would suggest that we use some of his concessions as a starting point for a new draft,” committee chairman Cecil Burgess said.

Cwele last month responded to a national outcry over the draft act by saying he favoured dropping the nebulous notion of “national interest” as cause for classification, as well as a [continue reading]