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Minister Mashakada: South African Businesses Safe in Zimbabwe

Bulawayo central business district
Bulawayo central business district
Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Minister Tapiwa Mashakada on Thursday assured South African investors that their businesses will not be affected by the country’s controversial indigenization regulations.

Addressing a joint Zimbabwe-South Africa investment indaba on the sidelines of the annual Zimbabwe International Trade Far in Bulawayo, Mr. Mashakada said government will honor the bilateral agreement between Zimbabwe and South Africa which protects investments of citizens of the two nations from being appropriated by the state.

Yet, Harare has previously seized dozens of farms owned by South African citizens and refused to compansate them. South African companies operating in Zimbabwe, including the Pretoria Portland Cement, Tongaat Hullet and Zimplats, are some of the foreign companies that are under pressure to comply with the indigenization regulations to transfer a 51 percent ownership stake.

Mashakada added that since 2010, South African companies have pumped $2.8 billion into Zimbabwe’s economy.

Addressing the same conference, South African ambassador to Zimbabwe, Vusi Mavimbela, said his government remains committed to assisting Harare revive its economy, adding Pretoria has a rescue package in place for its companies operating in Zimbabwe.

For persepective on issues around the economy and the trade fair, VOA reporter Tatenda Gumbo spoke to economist and former president of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, Callisto Jokonya, and Bulawayo mayor Patrick Thaba Moyo.

Moyo said investors are expressing strong interest in Zimbabwe at the fair.
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