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2008-08-08 02:23:59
mercy mission
주간 정치.사회요약한 소식들 (07.21-07.25) = 주 남아공 대사관
WEEKLY ECONOMIC NEWS
(July 21st –July 25th, 2008)
EMBASSY OF THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA


SOUTH AFRICA

Economy

        Woolworths customers feel spending pinch
        Manuel will not zero-rate more food
        Shilowa focuses on 8% growth
        Sacu-Efta free trade agreement implemented
        Slowdown could limit SA’s growth ‘to 3,2%

Business

        Renault-Nissan's R1bn boost for SA
        AfriSam ties up deal with R6bn funding
        Reliance Comm shares set to gain as MTN talks end
        Cement demand still strong despite building decline – Afrisam
        MTN seen eyeing Mexico after Reliance talks fail
        Tiger Brands gives Baxter option to buy in
        Vodacom lifts total subscribers by 6,6%
        SA defence group lands another big US DoD order
        Private equity firm seeks openings in SA
        Telkom plans internet provider hub in London

Minerals & Energy

        Manuel hints to yet more support as he approves R60bn Eskom injection
        Eskom faces pressure on credit ratings
        Increased costs push up price of metals
        Coal
        Eskom opens Medupi coal stockyard tender
        De Beers facing SA strike threat
        Coal of Africa raises resource at flagship Limpopo project
        Eskom opens Medupi coal stockyard tender
        SA produces more mining skills, but can’t keep up with growth, poaching
        Transnet rail expansion talks delay Sishen South by a year - KIO

Other

        SA pays Lesotho R2.4bn for water over 10 years
        On Digital Media poised to challenge MultiChoice
        SAA must explain why it needs another R3bn
        Icasa may take Sentech spectrum

NAMIBIA
        NUNW Offers Olive Branch to LLD Diamonds
        NFSC draft ready for Cabinet
        MTC Invests Another N$300 Million (telecoms)
        Namibia backing 400 MW solar tower-agri concept


BOTSWANA
        BPC P20 Million Tender Raises Eyebrows
        Botswana June inflation accelerates on transport
        Botswana ups pressure on De Beers
        Botswana c.bank says inflation to increase further
        CIC Energy retains 2013 electricity target
        Africa Diamonds to take De Beers to arbitration over Botswana project
        Saber Energy Engaging BPC, Eskom, Over Power Purchase

SWAZILAND
        Country’s gross official reserves take a plunge
        ADB promises to help sd on food security
        There are now over one million Swazi’s

SOUTH AFRICA
R/$ (21st June)        R7.600
R/$ (25th July)        R7.673
Gold (21st June)        $959.75
Gold (25th July)        $928.00
Platinum (21st June)        $1,849.00
Platinum (25th July)        $1,729.00

Economy

Woolworths customers feel spending pinch
July 21, 2008        http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/topstories.aspx?ID=BD4A805806
The corrosive effects of spiraling inflation and food prices were confirmed on Friday when retail giant Woolworths confirmed middle-income earners had been pushed to the wall by the rising cost of living.

Woolworths (WHL) said in a trading update for the 53 weeks to June that the middle to upper-middle income group was feeling “the pinch” of the economic downturn. Middle-income earners, who include the so-called “black diamonds" known for their consumption expenditure, have been credited with fuelling the consumer spending spree, aided until the recent spike in interest rates by relatively cheap credit.

But the shopping spirit is flagging and Woolworths said the recent interest rate hikes, and increases in fuel and food prices, had affected spending.



Manuel will not zero-rate more food
July 22, 2008        http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/topstories.aspx?ID=BD4A806474
The treasury had found no compelling arguments in favour of zero-rating additional foodstuffs to help the poor cope with escalating food prices, Finance Minister Trevor Manuel has said.

The proposal for further zero-rating was made by an interdepartmental task team established by the cabinet to devise a policy to help the poor deal with the food crisis. The policy is expected to be announced soon.

Manuel said the treasury had found no “compelling empirical evidence and equity reasons” to extend the list of 19 zero-rated food items. “While some of the benefits have been passed to the final consumer, the data suggests that wealthier households benefit more in absolute terms.”
        
Shilowa focuses on 8% growth
July 22, 2008        http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/topstories.aspx?ID=BD4A806475
Gauteng Premier Mbhazima Shilowa says growing the provincial economy 8% by 2014 remains one of his top priorities as he finishes his term of office.

This would be achieved by “laying the foundations” for growth, he said yesterday. In 2004, growing the economy 8% by 2014 looked impossible but now the target looked low. “Maybe one of the things that needs to be reviewed is (if) the target should be 8% or 10% by 2014.”

Sacu-Efta free trade agreement implemented
July 23, 2008        http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article.php?a_id=138607
The South African Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Tuesday confirmed the operation of the landmark Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) and the European Free Trade Association (Efta) from May 1, 2008.

The Free Trade Agreement was initially published in the Government Gazette in December 2007, and was expected to go into force on January 1, 2008, however, the actualisation of the agreement was only confirmed on May 1.The delay was as a result of technical shortcomings in the instruments of ratification of some parties, which resulted in the Efta being unable to implement the FTA on the expected deadline.

The South African government and the African sub-region as a whole, hoped for growth in trade relations with its Western European counterparts, through the establishment of the agreement.


The long-awaited agreement managed and facilitated trade in industrial products, fish and other marine products, and processed agricultural products. Trade in basic agricultural products was governed by bilateral agreements with each of the Efta states. Most industrial goods, including fish and other marine products now benefit from duty-free access to the Efta states.

Slowdown could limit SA’s growth ‘to 3,2%
July 25, 2008        http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/topstories.aspx?ID=BD4A808954
Growth is likely to slow significantly this year and next as weaker private sector investment, a global economic slowdown and falling consumer spending weigh on SA’s economy, says the Bureau for Economic Research (BER).

The BER said yesterday it expected GDP growth to slow from 5% last year to 3,2% this year and a mere 3% next year. Its outlook is less optimistic than Finance Minister Trevor Manuel’s, said the treasury was still “comfortable” GDP growth would average 4%.

Business

Renault-Nissan's R1bn boost for SA
July 18, 2008        http://www.busrep.co.za/index.php?fArticleId=4513602
The Renault-Nissan alliance on Friday announced the launch of a new manufacturing project in South Africa. Nissan's manufacturing plant at Rosslyn will be the focus of the project and about 300 jobs would be created there.

Renault and Nissan would invest R1 billion in the project to adapt two vehicle models to the South African market, prepare the plant and develop the local components and accessories supply chain. Current production output at the plant is 40 000 units per year, this would increase to 68 000 units in 2009 as a result of this investment, according to the statement.

AfriSam ties up deal with R6bn funding
July 21, 2008        http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/topstories.aspx?ID=BD4A805700
Construction materials group AfriSam said on Friday it was ready to grow its business now that it had secured R6bn in equity investment funding from the Public Investment Corporation (PIC).

Last week the PIC approved a financing package worth R6bn for black-owned AfriSam to replace a bridge financing facility provided to AfriSam by Holcim last year. The move marked the completion of the transfer of 85% of Swiss cement maker Holcim’s shareholding to the Afrisam Consortium.

The sale of the 85% stake, announced last June and worth R16,4bn, was seen as the biggest empowerment deal at the time.

Reliance Comm shares set to gain as MTN talks end
July 21, 2008        http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article.php?a_id=138480
India's Reliance Communications' shares are expected to rise on Monday after it called off tie-up talks with South Africa's MTN Group, avoiding a potential head-on legal clash between members of its founding Ambani family.

Reliance Communications and MTN, sub-Saharan Africa's biggest mobile phone group, ended their exclusive talks late on Friday, aimed at creating a global top-10 telecoms group, saying they could not reach a deal due to certain legal and regulatory issues.

Cement demand still strong despite building decline – Afrisam
July 21, 2008        http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article.php?a_id=138463
After having shown five years of double-digit growth, South African cement consumption would continue at about the same levels as this year for at least five years, said a senior official of South Africa's second-biggest maker of the building material. AfriSam MD Karl Meissner-Roloff said that local cement consumption was still sitting at record levels, despite residential building having cooled off.

The infrastructure sector would continue to show attractive growth, as government and State-owned enterprises implemented the R400-billion-plus investment plan over the medium term, which would flow into the development of new power stations, rail and port investments, and upgrading the country's road network.

MTN seen eyeing Mexico after Reliance talks fail
July 21, 2008        http://africa.reuters.com/business/news/usnBAN127450.html
South African mobile operator MTN Group may target Mexico's America Movil and other operators in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan in its bid to become a global player, analysts said. On Friday MTN called off talks with India's Reliance Communications, aimed at creating a top-10 global telecoms group, saying they could not reach a deal.

One analyst said MTN could look at America Movil, the largest mobile phone operator in Latin America, with operations in 16 countries in Latin America, the Caribbean and the U.S. "We expect that Latin America could be the next big area of interest for MTN," Lindsey McDonald, ICT industry analyst at consultancy Frost & Sullivan, said. "Its market characteristics are similar to those of Africa, the mobile market has demonstrated robust growth, and there are operators present there that could be good targets or partners going forward. America Movil is one possibility."  A MTN spokeswoman said any link to America Movil was pure speculation.

Tiger Brands gives Baxter option to buy in
July 22, 2008        
Tiger Brands has signed an agreement giving Swiss group Baxter Healthcare the option to buy a stake in its soon to be unbundled health-care subsidiary Adcock Ingram, a deal potentially worth R4,8bn, the fast-moving consumer goods retailer said.

“The agreement entrenches Adcock Ingram’s long-standing relationship with Baxter, giving us greater access to their product pipeline and new technology,” Adcock Ingram MD Jonathan Louw said. Under the agreement, Baxter has the option to buy 50% plus one share of Adcock Ingram’s hospital products division — Adcock Ingram Critical Care — between February and July 2010.

Baxter and Adcock Ingram’s relationship dates back to the 1940s. Baxter owned 40% of Adcock Ingram Critical Care until 1986, when it sold the shares back to Adcock Ingram to comply with anti-apartheid trade sanctions.  Baxter did however continue to supply hospital products and intellectual capital to Adcock Ingram, and later entered into a series of deals with the company including licensing, distribution and raw materials supply agreements.

Vodacom lifts total subscribers by 6,6%
July 22, 2008        http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article.php?a_id=138582
South Africa's biggest mobile phone operator, Vodacom Group, reported a 6,6 % increase in total customers to 34,6-million subscribers across its networks for the period ended June 30.
        
Telkom, Africa's largest fixed-line telephone operator, said its mobile unit, Vodacom, had increased revenue by 14,5 % year on year for the quarter ended June 30.

Vodacom is 50 %-owned by Vodafone Group, which is trying to increase its stake in Vodacom.

SA defence group lands another big US DoD order
July 22, 2008        http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article.php?a_id=138507
North American defence group General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada has announced yet another order from the US Department of Defence (DoD) for South African company BAE Systems Land Systems OMC’s RG31 mine resistant ambush protected (MRAP) 4x4 vehicles.

The order could be worth $552-million and is for 773 RG31 Mk5E vehicles, and is in addition to 566 RG31s ordered last month (June) by the US; neither of these orders should be confused with the 624 RG31s already supplied to US forces. Production of the vehicles for this latest order will be split between South Africa and the US. According to defenseindustrydaily.com the driving force behind these orders is the RG31’s operational success in Afghanistan.

Private equity firm seeks openings in SA
July 23, 2008        http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/topstories.aspx?ID=BD4A807241
Private equity investment firm Kingdom Zephyr Africa Management said yesterday it was scouting for investments in SA with a potential to yield high returns for its shareholders, who include Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz.

Zephyr partner Panos Voutyritsas said the company had raised $325m to invest across Africa, and projected capital commitments of up to $500m by year-end.
Because of the sheer size of its economy, SA would play an important role, both in terms of direct investment opportunities and in partnerships with local firms seeking to expand in Africa.

Voutyritsas would not specify the sectors in SA the company was interested, but said Zephyr’s target interests included companies in high-growth industries, excluding gambling, defence and alcohol, among others.

Telkom plans internet provider hub in London
July 23, 2008        http://www.busrep.co.za/index.php?fSectionId=&fArticleId=4520610
The SA Internet Exchange (Saix), a unit of Telkom, Africa's biggest fixed-line operator, plans to set up an internet hub in London to target northern African countries and boost its revenue.

Saix is South Africa's largest internet access provider supplying customers with satellite internet connectivity. It is a wholesale provider to internet service providers.

Telkom says customers in the north of Africa normally purchase their internet services from European firms at far cheaper rates than from southern African operators, and it wants to tap into this market. Current Saix customers include service providers, value-added network service providers and incumbent operators in Angola, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, and Zimbabwe.

Minerals & Energy

Manuel hints to yet more support as he approves R60bn Eskom injection
July 18, 2008        http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article.php?a_id=138397
South Africa's National Treasury unveiled the much-anticipated details of its R60-billion capital injection into embattled State power utility Eskom on Friday. Finance Minister Trevor Manuel hinted to possible additional support beyond the initial loans, which was also in line with a statement made on Thursday by Public Enterprises Minister Alec Erwin.

"In addition to the deeply subordinated loan, government will consider providing guarantees to enable Eskom to access funding otherwise not available," National Treasury said in a statement.
Manuel made the initial R60-billion commitment in his February Budget speech, but said on Friday that government had decided to bring forward the disbursements of the facility over three years, with the following profile: R10-billion for 2008/9; R30-billion for 2009/10; and R20-billion for 2010/11.

This was a material acceleration against the initial schedule, whereby R20-billion had been earmarked for allocation in the 2008/9 to 2010/11, with the bulk flowing in the latter years of a five-year injection. Manuel indicated that he decision to front load the shareholder loan was based on an analysis of the best was "to ameliorate the negative impact on Eskom's balance sheet, while assisting with smoothing the impact of the tariff increases".

Eskom faces pressure on credit ratings
July 21, 2008        http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/topstories.aspx?ID=BD4A805802
Power utility Eskom is expecting its credit ratings to come under pressure “in the near term” but to recover later as a result of the recently approved higher electricity tariffs and government financial support.

Spokesman Fani Zulu said Eskom expected rating agencies to conclude their review of the utility soon. “As a result of Eskom’s capital expansion programme, the organisation’s credit metrics are likely to weaken in the near term, but will recover as higher tariffs and government equity contributions feed through.”

Uncertainty about the extent of government financial assistance in support of Eskom’s R343bn capital expansion programme has stopped international rating agencies from reviewing the utility’s ratings.
        
Increased costs push up price of metals
July 21, 2008        Business Day-Print Edition
Citi Group has said Platinum and related Metals prices could be 30% higher than previously forecast for the long term because of increased costs in SA, the world’s largest producer.
        
Coal
July 22, 2008        Business Day-Print Edition
Coal for shipment from Richards Bay fell for a second week, on concerns that slowing economic growth will cut demand. Richards Bay exports fell $3,60 or 2.1% to $170,80 a ton.

De Beers facing SA strike threat
July 22, 2008        http://www.miningweekly.com/article.php?a_id=138563
Labour union the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) on Monday said about 3 500 of its members, who were employed at diamond mining company De Beers, would participate in industrial action on July 24.

The union had declared wage disputes with De Beers, Sishen Iron Ore and Exxaro on July 10, saying it would meet with De Beers at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration on Monday for conciliation, failure of which could lead to the union preparing for industrial action.

NUM was demanding a 13,5% increase in wages from De Beers for a one-year period, while the mining company was only offering 11% in a two-year agreement.

Coal of Africa raises resource at flagship Limpopo project
July 22, 2008        http://www.miningweekly.com/article.php?a_id=138593
Aim-, ASX- and JSE-listed Coal of Africa Limited (CoAL) announced an upgraded resource of 1,335-billion tons at its Makhado coking coal project in the Limpopo province of South Africa.

The Makhado project design phase has been completed and it was expected that a scoping study level schedule and operating cost estimation should be completed within the next month.

CoAL MD Simon Farrell said “The upgrade confirms our view that the Makhado project is capable of becoming a very substantial long-life producer of high-quality hard coking coal. There is substantial global demand for a product of this type and we expect this project to become our primary focus as we take the company forward,"        

Eskom opens Medupi coal stockyard tender
July 22, 2008        http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article.php?a_id=138518
State-owned power utility Eskom has issued a request for proposals for the complete design, supply, and setting to work of the coal stockyard equipment (the works) for the new-build Medupi power station.

Eskom initially conducted a prequalification process of preferred bidders for the works, but would be disregarding that process, as the specifications for the project changed significantly, leading to its decision to begin an open tender process.

Medupi will be a dry-cooled coal-fired generating plant, comprising six units, with a 4 800-MW installed capacity. It will use high-tech super-critical boilers, which will operate at higher temperatures and pressures than older boilers, giving greater efficiency.

The baseload plant, made up of six 800-MW units, was set to be commissioned in phases.
The first unit could be operational by mid-2012. The remaining units were scheduled to be commissioned at nine-monthly intervals, with the last units expected to be commissioned by March 2016. Eskom's official cost figure for the construction of Medupi is R78,6-billion.        

As a separate tender, Eskom invited electrical contractors to bid for the design, supply, installation, testing, and commissioning of electrical plant and material for seven traction substations for the Majuba railway siding project between Majuba power station and Ermelo.

TENDER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Majuba Power Station:        Tina Bezuidenhout (+27-17-799-3465)
http://www.eskom.co.za/live/content.php?Category_ID=171

SA produces more mining skills, but can’t keep up with growth, poaching
July 23, 2008        http://www.miningweekly.com/article.php?a_id=138610
While the number of mining engineering-specific graduates South Africa produced in 2006 showed a vast improvement on previous years, at 526 graduates, the figure was still shockingly low, given the sector’s growth, combined with the growing threat of global skills poaching.

Johannesburg-based Landelahni Business Leaders said on Tuesday that the biggest skills risks for the local resources sector were scarcities at the “shaft level”, including artisans, engineers and mine managers.

The number of artisans that had been through training and passed in South Africa shrank to 3 222 in 2006, which was about one-quarter of the figure in 1986.

To train the amount of artisans that the country needed would require significant investment from both the public and private sectors, the amount needed at R14,4-billion over three years to train 50 000 artisans.

Transnet rail expansion talks delay Sishen South by a year - KIO
July 25, 2008        http://www.miningweekly.com/article.php?a_id=138990
Extended rail expansion negotiations between Kumba Iron Ore (KIO), Africa’s biggest iron-ore miner, and State-owned Transnet have pushed production at its nine-million ton a year Sishen South project back by a year, to 2012, the Anglo American subsidiary said on Thursday. The project would now only begin production in 2012, while a rail deal was imminent.

Other

SA pays Lesotho R2.4bn for water over 10 years
July 21, 2008        Business Day-Print Edition
SA has received 6.4bn cubic meters of water from Lesotho since the Lesotho Highlands water project began in 1998. In return Lesotho has received payment of R2.4bn rand.

On Digital Media poised to challenge MultiChoice
July 22, 2008        http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/topstories.aspx?ID=BD4A806456
ON DIGITAL Media (ODM) had received a pay-TV licence from communications regulator Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa.

ODM is the first company to go through the Icasa process and be issued with a licence. It is now the only serious challenger to MultiChoice. Icasa said last year it would award licences to four new players: e.sat, a division of e.tv; Telkom Media; niche Christian network Walking on Water (WOW); and ODM. Telkom Media’s future is still uncertain and e.tv has pulled out to offer its 24-hour news channel to DStv.

“Our market is not big enough to handle more than one serious player, and MultiChoice has that market sewn up in terms of content and subscribers,” an analyst said yesterday. MultiChoice is now aggressively covering the lower end of the market with cheaper offerings and Premier Soccer League broadcast rights. A delay in issuing licences, stalled ODM’s launch from this year to next May.

SAA must explain why it needs another R3bn
July 22, 2008        Business Day-Print Edition
Democratic alliance Public Enterprises spokesman Manie van Dyk has said SAA executives should be called before Parliaments Public enterprises Committee to explain why they need R3bn more from the fiscus and the retrenchment of 1192 employees when SAA had a vacancy of 240 technicians.

Icasa may take Sentech spectrum
July 23, 2008        http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/economy.aspx?ID=BD4A807315
Valuable radio spectrum that is crucial for offering telecommunication services may be clawed back from Sentech unless the treasury stumps up enough cash to let the state-owned company build a network. The threat of withdrawing Sentech’s spectrum was made by the Independent Communications Authority (Icasa) yesterday, with chairman Paris Mashile hoping the warning will prompt the treasury to loosen its purse strings.

Numerous telecoms operators and internet service providers complain that there is too little spectrum for them to build cost-efficient networks, while Sentech is sitting on a chunk it cannot afford to use. “If you don’t use it you lose it,” Mashile said at a conference staged by Internet Solution. Icasa was prepared to recall the spectrum to force the government to act.

Communications Minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri has ordered Sentech to build a high-speed network to deliver affordable voice and data services to rural areas, and to schools and hospitals.
Sentech says that will cost R3bn, but the treasury has given it only R500m as it does not think Sentech should be doing that job.

NAMIBIA

Economic Indicators
$/NAD (25th July)        7.673

NUNW Offers Olive Branch to LLD Diamonds
July 22, 2008        http://www.newera.com.na/page.php?id=8272
The National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) has extended an olive branch to Lev Leviev Diamonds and Polishing Company (LLD Namibia) and wants to mend fences.

After weeks of a protracted dispute between the Mine Workers Union of Namibia (MUN) and LLD, the federation has stepped into the fray and wants the parties to ‘start afresh on the path to recovery’, following a lengthy protest that led to the dismissal of close to 222 employees.

A new proposal was offered to LLD management last Wednesday, from the office of the secretary general of the umbrella body, the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW).

Evilastus Kaaronda in his proposals to LLD asks for amnesty for fired workers and makes some commitments and undertakings by the union in order to break the impasse while raising concern to the LLD management about the issue of senior manager Mike Nesongano, salary reduction, overtime payment, appraisal and promotions, tariffs per carat and the strike and status of employees.

NFSC draft ready for Cabinet
July 23, 2008        http://www.namibian.com.na/2008/July/marketplace/081886E4F5.html
The long-awaited draft Namibian Financial Services Charter (NFSC) is ready for submission to Cabinet "in due course", the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry said. Speaking at the launch of the Namibia Financial Sector Review 2008 publication, Calle Schlettwein said the charter will "bring about a democratisation" of the financial services industry.

The financial services charter is aimed at achieving better representation of previously disadvantaged Namibians in the second best performing industry after mining.

Each financial institution is expected to target black ownership of 26 per cent of their entities by 2016.  By 2011, each institution should have a 40 per cent representation of black Namibians on boards of directors, and at least 11 per cent of them should be women. Other Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) targets set by the charter are 10 per cent of all business loans issued by banks should go to previously disadvantaged Namibians so that they can buy into companies to acquire a degree of ownership. Companies in the finance sector would be expected to commit at least five per cent of their investment portfolios to BEE companies from 2008 onwards.

The Charter also provides for a procurement policy, whereby companies in the finance industry will buy goods and services from approved BEE enterprises or those companies that show proof of BEE shareholders or business partners.

Managers of some banks in Namibia claim to have already started implementing some of the provisions of the draft charter even before it became policy.

MTC Invests another N$300 Million (telecoms)
July 24, 2008        http://allafrica.com/stories/200807240712.html
MTC said it is investing nearly N$300 million in its infrastructure since December last year. The money went into reinforcing short message capacity, the deployment of transmissions in various parts of the country and the replacement of the central switching equipment with a next generation architecture.

The Managing Director of MTC, Miguel Geraldes, said the investments reinforce the company's capacity to deal with its ever-increasing client base.

The investment into the short messages capacity is totalled at N$3,5 million and was done in conjunction with Intervoice.

Transmissions were deployed in various locations in Windhoek, the coast and in the northern side of the country. The deployment of transmissions brought to an end MTC's long-standing business arrangement with Telecom, where MTC rented infrastructure from Telecom. MTC spent N$76 million on this exercise. Nera and Ericsson were the service providers.

MTC also upgraded its radio access network and its broadband, in partnership with Nokia Siemens Network and Motorola at a cost of N$88 million.

Namibia backing 400 MW solar tower-agri concept
July 25, 2008        http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article.php?a_id=138994
New proposal involving the construction of a R1-billion solar tower that will be able to generate 400 MW of electricity is being backed by the Namibian government, which is prepared to foot the bill for half of the prefeasibility study costs, says intellectual property company Hahn & Hahn MD Alan Dunlop.

The proposal states that the solar tower, aptly named the Greentower, will be 1,5 km high and 280 m in diameter. Dunlop says that the tower can be likened to a chimney that would cause an updraft to the drive turbines, generating 400 MW of electrical power.

Air within the solar tower is heated in a large circular green-houselike structure, and the resulting convection causes the air to rise and escape through the tower. The moving air drives turbines, which then produce electricity.

BOTSWANA

Economic Indicators
$/BWP (25th July)        6.533

BPC P20 Million Tender Raises Eyebrows
July 21, 2008        http://www.gazettebw.com/headlines/bpc-p20-million-tender-raises-eyebrows.html
The Botswana Power Corporation (BPC)’s CFL bulbs campaign has sparked debate within the Corporation with workers speculating that it was not tendered for. They claim that the BPC disregarded the recommendations of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) on tendering made last year.

Allegations are that the person at the forefront of this project is related to the bulb provider. The exclusive award cost the Corporation over P20million.  Some sceptics within the BPC allege that the management of the corporation has practically become the marketing officers of this very company, going all the out to splash even more money, suspected to amount to over P10million, to market this company’s product

Botswana June inflation accelerates on transport
July 21, 2008        http://africa.reuters.com/country/BW/news/usnL17840781.html
Botswana's consumer inflation accelerated in June, official data showed on Thursday, pushed higher mainly by higher transport costs. A survey last month showed the country's business sector remains optimistic about the economy, but is worried over a deteriorating inflation outlook.

The Bank of Botswana said that headline inflation quickened to 14.5% year-on-year in June from 12.1% in May. "As in previous months, the higher inflation was mainly a result of increased inflation in transport costs, which rose from 25.8% to 35.6%."

Significant increases were recorded in the annual rate of price increases in alcoholic drinks, tobacco, clothing and footwear, housing, water, electricity and gas, and other items.

The central bank increased its bank rate by 50 basis points to 15.5% in June, warning that inflation would maintain an upward trajectory in the short-term.

Botswana's inflation has trended upward since October 2007, accelerating out of a targeted range of 3 to 6 % mainly due to global increases in the prices of food and oil.

Botswana ups pressure on De Beers
July 23, 2008        http://www.miningmx.com/diamonds/686272.htm
The Botswana government is stepping up pressure on diamond giant, De Beers, regarding the continued local marketing and beneficiation of diamonds mined in the country. That’s despite major concessions made by De Beers over the past two years during which it agreed to the aggregation of its entire international diamond production in the Botswana capital - Gaborone.

The latest development is that the Botswana government wants diamonds from the proposed AK6 mine – being developed by De Beers and AIM-listed junior African Diamonds – to be auctioned in Gaborone as part of the conditions required for the granting of a mining licence.

The reason is that the Botswana government wants to develop a separate marketing process outside of the De Beers system. That’s despite the fact that the Botswana government is already heavily involved in the De Beers marketing process through a joint venture with De Beers marketing arm – the Diamond Trading Company (DTC).

Botswana c.bank says inflation to increase further
July 24, 2008        http://africa.reuters.com/country/BW/news/usnBAN447245.html
Botswana's central bank said on Thursday it expected inflation to increase further in the near-term, adding it was important to maintain tight monetary policy to restrain the second round effects of administered prices.

"There are risks to the forecast inflation path emanating from a broad range of internal and external factors," the bank said in a monetary policy mid-term review statement. It cited administered prices, higher oil prices and price developments in South Africa.

CIC Energy retains 2013 electricity target
July 25, 2008        http://www.miningmx.com/energy/685329.htm
The first stage of CIC Energy’s proposed Mmamabula coal-fired power station project in Botswana is likely to be resized to 1,200 mega watts (MW) instead of the originally planned 2,400MW, said chief operating officer Tore Horvei.

Horvei said it was hoped the first generating set at the power station would still come on-line as planned for 2013. He added that clearing of the site to allow construction work on the plant to start should begin by the end of the year.

CIC was unable to get Eskom and the Botswana Power Corporation – which will buy the power from Mmamabula – to agree to take on some of that financial risk.

Africa Diamonds to take De Beers to arbitration over Botswana project
July 25, 2008        http://www.miningweekly.com/article.php?a_id=138913
Aim-listed African Diamonds (AFD) was taking gem giant De Beers to arbitration over its plans to delay the AK6 project, in Botswana, which the two are partners on, it said on Thursday.

AFD said that De Beers proposed that the project was not viable, owing to doubts over power supplies. After finding the terms of the mining licence that the government offered last month favourable, AFD said that it offered to buy out De Beers’ majority stake at a “generous price”, but that its offer was rejected. “We had expected to develop AK6 with De Beers, but its agenda differs from ours,” AFD chairperson John Teeling said.

Saber Energy Engaging BPC, Eskom, Over Power Purchase.
July 25, 2008                http://www.gazettebw.com/business/power-from-gas-by-2011.html
Saber Energy anticipates that it will be operating a power station by the beginning of 2011and expects to supply electricity to Southern Africa.   According to the Chairman Mr. Warren Newfield, they have completed a prefeasibility study on the power station project and a bankable feasibility study is anticipated to be completed in the first quarter of 2009.  

SWAZILAND

Economic Indicators
$/SZL (25th July)        7.600



Country’s gross official reserves take a plunge
July 23, 2008        http://www.times.co.sz/news/78.html
Government’s budgetary payments have led to the country’s gross official reserves taking a 13.5% decline in May 2008.

According to the monthly statistical report for May 2008 from the Central Bank of Swaziland, during the end of the focus month, reserves amounted to E5.8 billion, representing a monthly decline of 13%. "The decline was mainly a result of outflows by government in the form of budgetary payments," the report says. However, a year-on-year comparison shows that gross official reserves grew by 36.3 percent.

ADB promises to help SD on food security
July 23, 2008        http://www.observer.org.sz/main.php?section=business
THE Africa Development Bank (ADB) has reaffirmed Swaziland of its commitment to enhancing agricultural productivity and ensuring food security in the country. In its Country Strategy Paper (CSP) for Swaziland, the ADB states that the bank's interventions in agriculture and rural development remain an important area of focus in mainstreaming poverty reduction, since the majority of the poor depend on this sector.

In the medium term, the sub-sectoral strategy will seek to support the diversification of the agricultural base to promote non-traditional high-value crops and a gradual shift from subsistence to commercial farming using irrigation and the identification of regional and international markets for Swaziland's agricultural commodities.

The ADB has also observed that the agriculture sector recorded a poor performance over the last few years and its contribution to GDP and productivity has fallen significantly.

The poor performance of the sector has exacerbated unemployment and poverty problems particularly in the rural areas, while the food security situation has deteriorated.

There are now over one million Swazis
July 25, 2008        http://www.observer.org.sz/main.php?id=45617§ion=main
The population of Swaziland is slightly above a million people (1 0198 449). This is according to the 2007 population and housing census final figures presented by the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development through the Central Statistical Office.

The results were announced by the Minister of Economic Planning and Development, Absalom Dlamini. He stated that this figure includes 481 428 males and 537 021 females. "The census has shown that there are more women than men in Swaziland and the sex ratio is 89.6 (number of males per 100 females)," said Dlamini.





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