SA businesses wary of investing in Zimbabwe
by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG – THE liquidity crunch faced by the country’s banks as well as the skepticism around the indigenisation policy are seen as the remaining impediments to Zimbabwe’’s ability to attract foreign investors.
South African investors, who spoke to CAJ News in Johannesburg on Monday, said that while the country was enjoying a peaceful environment the cash shortages and the plans by government to take over 51 percent of
foreign-owned firms for redistribution to locals were not conducive to
invest in that country.
They also lauded the neighbouring country’s economic blueprint, Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-economic Transformation (ZimAsset).
“The Zimbabwe government has to fully explain the 51 percent shares
surrendered to locals yet I will be the one bringing in the cash and create jobs for the locals.
“I strongly feel that this policy will be a huge letdown for the ministerial delegation that visited South Africa last week,” Vukatimuni Ngobeni, an energy investor said.
Sibusiso Mkhize, whose company has huge interests in mining said ceding a
major stake of his company shares to local Zimbabwean without any
contribution was a “stumbling block” to the investment drive.
“”Firstly, I’m scared of the reports of cash shortage and disappearance of
investors’ money in local banks. Secondly, I’m a bit worried about the
issue of indigenisation.
“The ministers have a huge and daunting assignment to convince genuine investors over this,” Mkhize said.
Last week, Zimbabwe sent a high-powered ministerial delegation to South
Africa to lure investors.
Finance and Economic Development Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, led the ministerial group.
Among other ministers present were Obert Mpofu (Transport and
Infrastructure), Mike Bimha (Trade and Industry), Jonathan Moyo
(Information), Supa Mandiwanzira, (Moyo’s Deputy) as well as the country’s central bank governor John Mangudya.
The need to attract investment is a theme that runs across most initiatives detailed in the ZimAsset.
Political upheavals and economic turmoil in the Southern African country
over the years put off investors.
– CAJ News
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