Items filtered by date: Tuesday, 31 July 2018 - Botswana Guardian

The Botswana Badminton Association(BBA) in conjunction with Botswana Integrated Sports Association (BISA) held a mini- refresher course for Technical Officials on Wednesday at Ledumang Senior School. In a brief interview with Barulaganye Ncube, the objective of this course is to refresh the current umpires and equip the upcoming ones as this will help the association in building and grading them.

About 30 technical officials have participated. Some of the things that are  taught are Laws of Badminton, Scoring System and Service, Vocabulary and Instant Review System and ITTO’S Code of Conduct. BBA leading Technical Officials are to facilitate the course, and the people teaching the course are  Gopolang Mekgwe, Abraham Masole, Emmanuel Saakane, Emmanuel Seokamo and Gagothata Modigela.

There are certificates of attendance at the end of the course.

The training will be followed by national finals for senior schools. Games will be played this weekend from Thursday 26- Saturday 28 July at Ledumang Senior School from 8am where 4 zones, North, North Central, South Central and South will be participating. These games are the national finals for senior schools.

Published in Sports

Baboneng Film Production is aiming to revolutionise the local sporting landscape by giving local sporting codes much needed exposure on television.

This follows the locally brewed production’s recent revolutionary partnership with the Botswana Football Association to broadcast the Debswana National First Division.  The ambitious television production company has also signed the rights to numerous sporting codes in a partnership that will see new revenue streams for local sports activities. 

In an interview this week, Baboneng Chief Executive Officer Kesebonye Seabelo said they have agreed to exclusive rights with numerous sporting codes including the Botswana Badminton Association (BBA), the Botswana Cricket Association (BCA), the Botswana Wrestling Association and the Botswana Volleyball Federation (BVF).

“Our intention is to sign contracts with all sporting associations. We have already started production to document some of the sport codes. We intend to show when these sports codes were started and   their grassroots initiatives,” Seabelo said. Seabelo said these sporting activities will be shown on a new channel, The Now TV, which can be viewed via the Set Top box. He further explained that the   new TV channel requires content.

“The Now TV will be a 24 our channel featuring sports and entertainment. We have come up with a win-win scenario for us and the sports codes where profit will be split on a 50-50 basis. You cannot find this arrangement in other countries as the TV broadcaster takes most of the profit and the sport codes are left with only 20 percent.” Moreover, Seabelo said they expect to start showing local sports content on television in September this year.

The watershed agreement will see Baboneng broadcasting live games on Maru TV.

Baboneng is expected to start production on the National First Division games next month at the beginning of the new season. Seabelo said they expect positive response from Batswana. If the viewership numbers go up it will mean sponsors will be coming on board.

Baboneng are expected to broadcast Debswana First Division Leagues from both the north and southern region of the country and the partnership is expected to run for five years. The landmark partnership is valued P9,000,000.00 and gives Baboneng both the TV and Radio rights as well as print media and Internet rights and the branding of the stadium during games.

Published in Sports
Tuesday, 31 July 2018 15:51

Mupane mine picks Galane Gold output

Galane Gold, the company which operates Botswana’s only   gold mine, Mupane Gold has recorded the biggest production in more than five years.

According to a recent statement obtained from its website this Wednesday, the company said it has produced  10,090 ounces of gold which represents its best quarter output since Q4 2013 during the second quarter of the year(Q2: 2018). To achieve this, it milled 214,378 tonnes at an average head grade of 2.18 grams per tonne, with the main contributor being production from Tau of 98,424 tonnes at 3.46 grams per tonne.

Galane Gold’s Chief Executive, Nick Brodie is thrilled with the results especially from Mupane, its Francistown-based mine. “This represents a strong quarter for the Mupane operations as we continue to see increasing production from Tau underground contributing to exceptional operating results.

I look forward to taking the strong management team we have built to revitalize Mupane and using their skills and technical expertise to restart Galaxy,” said Galane top executive.

Galaxy Gold mine, which was acquired in 2015 by the company from Vantage Goldfields, is one of the oldest gold mines in South Africa. It is currently being rehabilitated. “We anticipate our first production at Galaxy in the first quarter of 2019 and annual production at Galaxy to be over 25 000 oz of gold at a cash cost per ounce of less than $800,” said Brodie in a statement early this year.

‘We then plan to complete a study on a second expansion phase with the objective of doubling the capacity at the Galaxy processing plant to 60 000 tpm and decreasing the cash cost per ounce as a result of increased economies of scale.’
The expected opening of Galaxy mine comes at a time when gold prices have been slashed for the current year and 2019.

A poll of 35 analysts and traders conducted by Reuters this month forecast an average gold price of $1,301 an ounce in 2018 and $1,325 in 2019, from predictions of $1,334 and $1,352 respectively in a similar poll three months ago. “The revisions come after gold plunged from $1,365.23 in April to around $1,220, under pressure from a strengthening dollar, expectations of higher U.S. interest rates, a large decline in gold held by exchange-traded funds and a sell-off by speculative investors,” said Reuters.

Published in Business
Tuesday, 31 July 2018 15:44

Hertz Rent-a-Car driving ahead

A car rental company based in Gaborone, Hertz Rent-a-Car Botswana, has vowed to raise the bar in the industry with better services.The company operates as an international franchisee of the global Hertz Corporation throughout southern Africa.

“In line with delivering our ethos of ensuring complete customer satisfaction, Hertz Rent a Car strives to meet - and exceed - the expectations of our clients by providing world-class service and support excellence,” said Hertz country manager, Marcus Tjezuva recently at the grand opening of the company’s prestigious new offices in Peelo Place just opposite the new Hilton Hotel at the CBD.

He said their single-minded focus is the quality and performance of the products and services that, “we provide to our customers and other stakeholders; and underpinned by the experience gained by our brand over the past 100 years.”
According to him these are all key elements that make it possible for Hertz to rent cars better than anyone else.

Speaking at the same event, Wils Raubenheimer, Chief Executive Officer of Hertz in Southern Africa highlighted the challenges faced by car rental and what the industry needs to do to remain relevant. 

“The reality is that input costs are not coming down while rate increases are not keeping pace with the escalation in costs,” he said, adding that the future of car rental is through new innovation technologies such as the introduction of their Vehicle Events App as well as staying abreast of the ever-changing demands and preferences of customers.

“Digital and mobile technologies have put the customer in control and are the biggest drivers of opportunities in the car rental space.

It’s our belief that for as long as individuals want to be independent and self-drive, there will always be demand for our products and services,” said Raubenheimer.
Hertz Botswana started operations in 2015 following the company’s purchase of Select Car Hire’s operations.

The company operates five branches in the country, notably at the main airports of Sir Seretse Khama International, Maun, Francistown and Kasane.

Published in Business
Tuesday, 31 July 2018 15:34

Kgori Capital appoints Sibanda

Local asset management company, Kgori Capital has with immediate effect, appointed Motsile Sibanda as an Independent, Non-Executive director, following regulatory approval from Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA).

The new director has over 24 years of industry experience notably as a human resources practitioner. He has worked as Head of HR for Stanbic Bank Botswana, HR Consultant for Standard Bank Group in South Africa, and Divisional Manager Organisational Capability for BCL Limited.

He was instrumental in setting up the BCL Staff Pension Fund and is currently an Executive Management Coach. Mr. Sibanda holds a Master of Arts Degree in Human Resource Management from University of Leeds (UK) and a Bachelor of Social Sciences (Public Administration & Political Science) from the University of Botswana.

Kgori Capital Managing Director Alphonse Ndzinge has warmly welcomed Sibanda.“We extend a warm welcome to Mr.  Motsile Sibanda as our new Independent, Non-Executive Director and are very pleased with this appointment. As Kgori Capital, we are passionate about investing with pride on behalf of our clients, and sound guidance and leadership from our Board enables us to do just that as we continue working to deliver the next chapter of Kgori Capital, a true Botswana business, with purpose, commitment, passion and vigour,” said Ndzinge.

Kgori Capital now has four directors: Ndzinge, Sharifa Noor, Kennedy Melamu and Sibanda.

Published in Business

The decision to put BCL group under liquidation some two years ago by the Ian Khama administration continues to evoke mixed reactions even to this day.

The closure of mines under BCL group, BCL and Tati Nickel has certainly left many disappointed especially the more than 5000 workers who have added to Botswana’s nearly 20 percent of unemployment rate.
The Selibe Phikwe region, where BCL copper mine was located is just inches short of a ghost town, while concerted efforts to revitalize the economy of the region are faltering, even with the intervention of former Bank of Botswana Governor Linah Mohohlo. 

Listening to top government officials and ministers explaining the closure of the mine, the conclusion is that the decision was not well thought of, after all government itself cannot exactly tell when the liquidation process will wind up.
It is understandable that the liquidation process is a legal matter that by nature has unpredictable duration.

However, in placing the two mines under liquidation, government should have had a reasonable time frame on the whole process as it now has serious financial implications. The time frame is of concern in view of the spending that has already hit the 2 billion mark, including the liquidator’s hefty P2million monthly fee. The Minister responsible, for Eric Molale, justifies the continued payment of the above fees and other care and maintenance services of the two mines and so, this sounds like a daylight robbery.

This happens at a time when some primary school children are still taught under trees, shortage of drugs are the order of the day in our health facilities as well as the intermittent delivery of water resources to the citizenry due to lack of funds.

Now that government finds it necessary to continue to funds BCL liquidation, one wonders if it was necessary to close the mining group as a whole, without exhausting other options. Before former General Manager, Dan Mahupela and his entire management team were relieved of their duties as the mine was closed in October 2016, an ambitious strategy Polaris 2 was already in motion.

The multi-pronged strategy basically explored how BCL group could diversify its fortunes away from just copper and nickel. The strategy was well-crafted. Some of the minerals that the group was already exploring were iron ore, silver, diamonds as well as additional copper deposits. As a matter of fact, BCL was at an advanced stage of establishing Dikoloti nickel mine as a joint venture with the now defunct Discovery Metal Limited.

The mine, once full operational, was to add a further ten years into the lifespan of BCL mine itself. In addition, the BCL group had also hatched a joint venture with Botswana Diamonds to explore for diamonds at Maibwe Project in the Gope area. BCL group owns 51 percent of the joint venture while the Botswana based Future Minerals, holds 20 percent, and South Africa’s Siseko 29 percent.

This basically put Botswana Diamonds’ interest in the project at 15 percent. Having reached a conclusion that the Maibwe Diamonds project had potential, Botswana Diamonds which is quoted in the local stock had put an offer before the BCL liquidator to buy out government’s controlling stake. Having cited this examples, and possible how Polaris 2 could have been critical to the government as the sole shareholder, this now brings the question, why did government take a blanket decision to close BCL group as whole? In my view, it could have been wise for government to have unbundled BCL group to pave way for subsidiaries especially those who had good prospects to continue running.

These are the projects such as those that were exploring for diamonds and nickel as espoused by Polaris 2, especially that the company had spread risks by partnering with existing players in the mining industry. Instead, government took the easiest route of closing the whole group without fully evaluating the business case of sustainability as hatched by the former board of directors and executive management.

As we speak today, the shareholdings in these various exploration companies that were formed under Polaris 2 strategy could have been under the care of Minerals Development Company Botswana (MDCB).It is my informed judgment that government has not given the team at BCL time to really sell their story under Polaris 2. We cannot deny the fact that BCL and Tati mines were bleeding government billions of Pula every year, but to close the group as a whole was perhaps not the best decision taken. Unfortunately as we have come to understand it, the country is ruled by politicians, some without adequate education, but often overrules credible advice from technocrats. 

Right now the country is stuck with a previous regime decision to place BCL under the hammer; a decision made without much consultation with concerned parties. Jobs have been lost! The former minerals minister, Sadique Kebonang promised to look for investors to save BCL but has never reported back to the nation before he was fired by President Mokgweetsi Masisi.

Now, the Government is saddled with scheduled payments of liquidators and other related fees as well as the expected billions of Pula that will be used to rehabilitate the mine.
We can only hope the Masisi regime will make the right decision on BCL.

Published in Business
Tuesday, 31 July 2018 14:46

Masisi attends BRICS Summit

Botswana would not be left out in the euphoria gripping the region this week as neighbouring south Africa hosted the 10th BRICS Summit at Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

The Summit brought together leaders of the world’s most developing countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa to explore trade and investment opportunities and discuss the obtaining world trade environment, currently characterised by trade wars between global trading partners.

Here in Gaborone, India’s High Commissioner to Botswana, Dr Rajesh Ranjan used the opportunity on Wednesday to gather a select group of Botswana-based Indian captains of industry, amongst them - Chairman of IBCCI Shyam Srikaran and President of IAB Rajat Dhuria - at the Chancery to watch a live telecast of Prime Minister of the largest democracy in the world, Narendra Modi addressing the Ugandan Parliament.

The Indian Envoy Dr. Ranjan explained that all leaders of Southern African Development Community (SADC) had been invited to the BRICS Summit as ‘observers’, an assertion that Botswana Government Spokesperson, Jeff Ramsay would later confirm to Botswana Guardian.Mokgweetsi Masisi had received a personal invitation from South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa and that he would be travelling to Johannesburg on Friday (today) to participate in the “Outreach Dialogue Session” between BRICS leaders and leaders from the region.

Ahead of his trip to South Africa, Prime Minister Modi visited central and east African countries of Rwanda and Uganda where he pledged hundreds of millions-worth lines of credit to the two countries.
In Uganda, Modi announced a combined US$205million line of credit for electricity lines, agriculture and dairy production, whist in Rwanda he announced a line of credit of US$200 million following talks with President Paul Kagame.

Addressing the Ugandan Members of Parliament in the presence of President Yoweri Museveni, Prime Minister Modi extolled the bonds of relationship that subsist between India and Africa, whose roots he traced back to Mahatma Ghandi. He said Ghandi was one with Africa and Africans and that his methods of peaceful resistance had inspired leaders like Nelson Mandela, Albert Luthuli, Kwame Nkrumah and Julius Nyerere amongst many in Africa.

Modi said India would build a Gandhi Heritage Centre at the sacred site in Jinja, where a statue of Gandhiji now stands to pay homage and “remind us of Africa’s role in shaping his mission that even inspired Africa to freedom and justice; and the universal and timeless values of his life and message.”

Modi said India is also opening 18 new embassies in Africa to cement the ties with a continent that India regards as a “partner.” Statistics attest to the truism of this assertion. At present, India-Africa development partnership includes implementation of 180 Lines of Credit worth about USD 11 billion in over 40 African countries. At the last India Africa Forum Summit, India had committed a concessional Line of Credit of 10 billion U.S. dollars and 600 million dollars in grant assistance.

Modi said that every year, over 8000 African youth are trained in a diverse set of programmes and confirmed that Indian companies have invested over US$54 billion in Africa.“Our trade with Africa is now over US$ 62 billion,”representing over 21 per cent more than in the previous year. Africa’s exports to India are growing, he said, and, both nations’economic ties are now increasingly driven by new partnerships of innovation in the digital economy. 

It will seem that Africa’s cooperation with Africa transcends all human endeavours and activities. Modi expressed pride at the work of Indian peacekeepers in over a dozen UN peacekeeping missions in Africa, since the first mission in Congo in 1960.
He said that in all the UN peacekeeping Missions in the world, 163 Indians have made the “supreme sacrifice”, adding that this is among the highest number for any country.

“Almost 70 per cent of these embraced martyrdom just in Africa. Today, over 6,000 Indians serve in five peacekeeping operations in Africa”, he said.  President Masisi’s participation in today’outreach dialogue session with BRICS leaders is hoped to salvage some morsels from BRICS for Botswana’s development agenda. BRICS has set up a bank to rival both the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), which are seen as pro-Western institutions. Government Spokesperson Dr. Jeff Ramsay is optimistic that Masisi’s participation in the BRICS outreach dialogue session is a harbinger of good things that will eventually come to Botswana, SADC and Africa.

He says the outreach dialogue – the first high-level initiative, expected to include other African heads of state – will activate the African angle in the BRICS mosaic.

“We also stand to enhance our relationships with other members of BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India and China,” he said, adding that in a multi-polar world, “we are happy to see” multilateral institutions that promote South-to-South and Pan African relationships.
Meanwhile, China, the world’s second largest economy has extended R190billion to South Africa. The gesture comes ahead of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit scheduled for Beijing in early September 2018.

Masisi is poised to attend the Summit. Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) this week also hosted a 70-person strong delegation from the China Council for Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) in a business forum to explore investment opportunities within both countries. 

According to Li Hongbing, the First Secretary in the Economic and Commercial Counsellor’s Office at the Embassy of the Peoples Republic of China in Botswana, the trade value between China and Botswana was US$266 million whilst the outflow foreign direct investment from China to Botswana dropped by 77 percent year on year to US$18, 78 million for the period 2016/2017.In the same period, the amount of FDI from China to SADC was US$ 1.07 billion.
Ramsay said that indeed President

Published in News
Tuesday, 31 July 2018 14:39

Salakae locked in the horns of a dilemma

In Rakops, Noah Salakae, the Botswana National Front’s (BNF) purse-keeper, had a foreboding demeanour whilst chatting with delegates from Gantsi North.The BNF National Treasurer has now vented his frustrations. This week he resigned as National Treasurer only to rescind the decision within 24 hours. In Rakops it was evident that his office was not in control of the Conference finances. BNF President Advocate Duma Boko had taken over.

The transportation, food and the huge tent erected at the conference venue were all bankrolled by Boko. Confronted on these developments in Rakops, Salakae would not discuss them with the media saying they were internal party matters.

But this week’s revelations in the leaked resignation letter gave insight into the way things were run in the build up to the conference. It was at this conference that Advocate Boko revealed that going forward he would not let delegates starve. He indicated that initially he had wanted all the buses that transported people to Rakops to be branded and promised that this should be expected in the coming BNF engagements.

This week Tuesday Salakae pulled a surprise and resigned through a letter that was leaked to the media. While the resignation was to safeguard his integrity, within the BNF Central Committee he had made a blunder. Those close to developments within the Central Committee say Salakae was one of the key players in the anti-Boko faction.

His departure is likely to weaken the faction which is in majority. In fact, those who associated with him felt betrayed. Information gathered by Botswana Guardian, reveals that on Tuesday night there was a meeting where fellow comrades pleaded with him not resign and he conceded. However the damage had already been done as the letter he shared with some of the colleagues in the central committee was in the public domain.

Salakae, who is also Member of Parliament for Gantsi North could not be drawn into discussing the letter but confirmed it and its contents which regrettably according to him, was leaked before it could officially reach the party office through secretary general.
“At the height of my resignation is the manner in which the BNF/UDC is run. The BNF CC remains only in name because the (sic) is run by Comrade Boko’s bodyguards.

The BNF Executive Committee never meets. Ever since the AP comrades left we are still to meet as the UDC Parliamentary caucus to mention but a few. We can’t open up on these truths as the CC because of the love and respect we have for the BNF and its members,” said Salakae in the letter.

He continued, “I leave behind a healthy party’s balance sheet. We managed to buy a vehicle for the party, cash on delivery. Cash balance stands at over P200 000 with no debts. With a depoliticized party administration, I am confident the party can make millions from membership cards”.

Contacted by this publication, Salakae confirmed the withdrawal of the resignation letter. He dismissed claims that he belongs to an anti-Boko faction in the central committee. “Following the leak of that letter I engaged in vigorous consultation with other comrades. They were calling me trying to find out what could have happened. We spoke for about ten (10) hours as they were pleading with me not to resign.

“By then I had already taken a stand but they convinced me that I could not leave the office I have served diligently. They are not against the contents of the letter but rather against my decision to resign,” he stated. The outspoken legislator explained that there are two schools of thought - one that believes in silence and the other that believes that one has to speak out.

“When you keep quiet those who believe in speaking out will point an accusing finger that you are failing them. And when you speak out against some things or disagreeing with the leaders those who believe in silence would start to call you a renegade and undermining the leadership so this is the difficulty we find ourselves in as leaders.

That is why people would start saying you are in a certain faction while in actual fact you will be expressing yourself democratically,” said Salakae. He indicated that he is a die-hard BNF member and would not join any other political movement.
There have been claims that the anti-Boko faction within the central committee has tried on numerous occasions to take him head-on but failed due to failure to convene meetings for central committee and or Executive Committee.

The faction believes he is making it difficult for the BNF to progress and that he is sabotaging the UDC. The faction which also has the backing of BNF Veterans Association, some MPs, some Councillors and some of the rank and file could soon be losing grip of the party to Advocate Boko and his team.

Information on the ground is that some party members feel the anti-Boko faction within the central committee is failing the party and its members by failing to use their numerical superiority against Boko’s minority support.

Published in News
Tuesday, 31 July 2018 14:31

It is all about power, stupid!

Power struggle and hunger for power is what has landed Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) at loggerheads over the appropriate Constitution to be filed with Registrar of Societies, Botswana Guardian has learnt.

 Following the filing of the Constitution by President Advocate Duma Boko and one of the Vice Presidents, Dumelang Saleshando who is also President of Botswana Congress Party (BCP) two UDC contracting partners Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) and Botswana People’s Party (BPP) wrote objecting letters through their Secretary Generals.

The Constitution submitted by Advocate Boko and Saleshando provided for one Vice President and gave powers to the UDC congress and the President. The Vice President would be the running mate for the president during the general election.
The letters written to the Registrar of Societies indicate that since UDC is made up of four contracting partners the constitution must be signed by all in order to be registered.

On the other hand, the Constitution that the BMD and BPP approve of has provision for two vice presidents. According to the Constitution once UDC is in power 1st Vice President would be the country’s vice president. BMD has all along maintained that it occupies the seat of 1st Vice President within the UDC. The argument has been that BCP is a new comer in the UDC. However, UDC leader Advocate Duma Boko has on several occasions indicated that there is no 1st and 2nd Vice Presidents within the UDC.

He stated that they are all equal but perform different roles. If this Constitution is approved and UDC wins power, BMD leader Advocate Sidney Pilane would be Botswana’s Vice President according to Article 11.2 of the Constitution.
Article 11.4 the Chairperson of the UDC shall be the Senior Minister of the cabinet of Republic of Botswana when UDC is in power. BPP President Motlatsi Molapisi is UDC Chairman.

This means when UDC attains power, Molapisi would be minister for presidential affairs. It is yet to be seen what would be the way forward once the Registrar of Societies has acted on all the documents before his office.

Published in News

Armed with a Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism management from Durban University in South Africa and currently doing a Diploma in Business Management, the youthful Botswana Demcratic Party’s  Dukwi councillor, Thatayaone Kehitile has informed this puplication that he is seeking a fresh mandate in the coming primary elections, dubbed Bulela Ditswe.

 He easily won in 2014 but this time around, he will face  tight competition from two competitors who are Sekobaneng Mosweu and Amuchalini Draw Maja. “I started politics when I was still young and was inspired by my neighbour Julius Lenyatso Gobela, who was a councillor by then, back in the 90s.

Those BDP songs, and the vibrancy really cajoled me to fall in love with BDP politics. I took serious interest when I was at tertiary. I then started to read a lot of current affairs and politics in general”.

He says he resigned from Ngwato Land Board where he was the youngest deputy Chairperson and took a stern decision to represent his community at council level.  He says he has been sponsoring the village local school during its many activities including prize giving ceremonies which he has so far sponsored to the tune of over P10 000 as well as a number of various soccer tournaments to unify the villagers through sports.

Published in News
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