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South Africans Call for More Business Ties With Zimbabwe

  • Mavis Gama

City of Harare

City of Harare

A South African business delegation visiting Zimbabwe has called for investment in the country saying it is satisfied with the political situation in the neighbouring nation following a resounding victory by President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party in the July 31 elections.

The leader of the South African delegation, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Elizabeth Thabethe, told journalists in Harare that their mission is to allow the country’s business people to network and be able to get into joint ventures with business people in Zimbabwe.

Thabethe also congratulated Zimbabwe for holding what she called peaceful and successful elections in July.

She said trade between the two nations has been on the increase and as a result, there is need for South Africa and Zimbabwe to strengthen ties.

At the same time, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Dr Samuel Undenge, added that the visit is one of the business initiatives meant to follow up on the government’s call for international investors to partner with local business people.

Undenge told journalists that those wishing to establish businesses in Zimbabwe should not fear the indigenization and economic empowerment programme compelling foreign-owned companies to transfer majority stakes to local people.

He said, without elaboration, that the black economic empowerment programme is targeted at certain businesses.

Explaining the business trip, the leader of the South African group noted that its mission is to find better ways of conducting business in the Southern African Development Community region and the African continent.

Zimbabwe is looking for foreign direct investment as most of the sectors including manufacturing and agriculture remain subdued due to lack of capital.

The South African delegation is expected to visit Bulawayo to assess business opportunities in the country’s second largest city where many industries are collapsing, leaving thousands of workers jobless.