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Zimbabwe Employers Consider Union's Dollar-Based Minimum Wage Demand

Zimbabwean employers who are facing a June deadline laid down by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions to boost wages to a minimum US$465 a month will meet this week in an effort to come up with a sustainable common wage policy.

The consensus minimum wage at present is US$100 a month - what state employees are receiving from the government - but most companies are paying workers as little as US$20 a month or giving them goods which they can then sell or barter on the open market.

Chief Executive Officer John Mufukare of the Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe told reporter Gibbs Dube of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that while the union demand was reasonable, he was not sure Zimbabwean companies could afford to meet it.

Meanwhile, two separate delegations of South African business executives have arrived in Zimbabwe in recent days to investigate possible business opportunities, one of them led by the politically well-connected Tokyo Sexwale, chief executive of Mvela Holdings and an influential member of the ruling African National Congress.

Government sources said the delegates met with senior unity government officials including Finance Minister Tendai Biti and Mining Minister Obert Mpofu.

Planning Minister Elton Mangoma told reporter Chris Gande of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the South Africans are eager to invest in Zimbabwe, especially in banking.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...