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Zimplats to Launch Community Shares Scheme in Response to Indigenization

  • Gibbs Dube

A message to shareholders on the Zimplats website says registration of the local shares trust will soon begin but the mining firm owned by South Africa’s Impala Platinum Holdings did not provide further details

Zimbabwe Platinum Holdings, under pressure to submit a plan for the sale of a majority of shares to indigenous or black Zimbabwean investors, says it will set up a community share ownership trust as a key piece of its revised indigenization program.

A message to shareholders on the Zimplats website says work on the registration of the trust will soon begin. The mining company, controlled by South Africa’s Impala Platinum Holdings, did not offer further details on the trust.

Zimplats said that following an agreement with the Ministry of Indigenization to submit a revised plan by November, it no longer faces threats of license suspension.

“Shareholders are advised that management has had very productive meetings with the Minister of Youth Development, Indigenization and Empowerment and a process has been agreed upon which will lead to the production and submission of a revised indigenization plan reflective of the indigenization legislation,” it said.

Zimplats earlier offered to transfer 25 percent of equity to black Zimbabweans with another 26 percent to be represented by community programs. The proposal was rejected by the Indigenization Ministry, which threatened license suspension.

Zimplats spokeswoman Busi Chindove and Indigenization Minister Saviour Kasukuwere could not be reached immediately for comment.

Economist James Wade said the mining firm’s move to empower communities in its local areas of operation is commendable. “Communities will feel empowered if they are involved in this initiative,” Wade told VOA reporter Gibbs Dube.

In other business news, Air Zimbabwe flights resumed on Friday after striking pilots ended a 46-day strike having been paid outstanding June and July salaries and allowances thanks to a second government bailout of the state carrier.