Peter Matambanadzo Senior Reporter
A South African company yesterday extended a US$50 million credit facility to small to medium enterprises in the mining and agricultural sectors.
The deal was signed between World Marine and Offshore (Pvt) Ltd and the National Business Council of Zimbabwe The deal will see SMEs accessing loans for procurement of business ventures in mining and agricultural sectors.
The loan facility will be handled through the NBCZ.
Addressing journalists after the signing ceremony, Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment deputy Minister Cde Mathias Tongofa commended the company for the gesture.
“We are at a time when others are dragging their feet and you have shown that you want to be the pioneers of supporting our cause as a nation,” he said.
Cde Tongofa challenged SMEs to be ethical and ensure that they repay the loans. “Business is about repaying and being paid also. So I want to challenge our people that we have to deal with other business people in a manner which is business-like,” said Cde Tongofa.
World Marine and Offshore representative Mr Vivian Jugmohan said the loan was meant to assist SMEs overcome challenges. “There are initiatives that we are engaged in South Africa, which are quite well established and the idea is to extend such type of initiatives to Zimbabwe in the SMEs to assist them overcome similar challenges,” Mr Jugmohan said.
NBCZ president Dr Keith Guzah said some big corporates were against the participation of SMEs in the procurement business sector.
“So in view of this, we found it prudent to initiate this process where we went across the Limpopo to seek partners who are willing and able to assist Zimbabwe business players in the various sectors and push our economy,” he said.