South Africans Wary Of Zimbabwe Investment Drive

South Africans Wary Of Zimbabwe Investment Drive

South African investors say despite peace in Zimbabwe, the country’s cash shortages and plans to give 51 percent of foreign-owned firms to locals are disincentives to invest there, according to a CAJNews report.

Zimbabwe sent a ministerial delegation last week to South Africa to lure investors, led by Patrick Chinamasa, minister of finance and economic development.

Accompanying Chinamasa were Obert Mpofu (transport and infrastructure), Mike Bimha (trade and industry), Jonathan Moyo (information), Supa Mandiwanzira, (deputy minister of information) and John Mangudya, Zimbabwe’s central bank governor.

They pushed Zimbabwe’s economic blueprint — the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-economic Transformation (ZimAsset) — which highlights the need to attract investment.

South African investors praised Zimbabwe’s economic blueprint but didn’t buy it.  They said Zimbabwe’s liquidity crunch and indigenisation policy are impeding its ability to attract foreign investors, according to CAJNews.

“I strongly feel that this policy will be a huge letdown for the ministerial delegation that visited South Africa last week,” said Vukatimuni Ngobeni, an energy investor. “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.”

Sibusiso Mkhize, whose company has interests in mining, said giving a major stake of his company shares to local Zimbabwean is 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,” he said, according to the CAJNews report. “The ministers have a huge and daunting assignment to convince genuine investors.”