SOUTH Africa will this year invest more than $600 million in Zimbabwe as a follow up to President Mugabe’s State visit to foster partnership in areas of mutual interests.
Speaking at a business forum in Gweru recently, South Africa’s Minister of Trade and Industry Mr Mzwandile Masina said the development was in line with the vision of President Mugabe and President Jacob Zuma to strengthen trade and business cooperation between the two nations.
“This business forum intends to advance the vision of our leaders, President Zuma and President Mugabe, to strengthen cooperation in a manner that will enable both our countries to foster partnership in areas of mutual interests.
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“South Africa invests here in a range of sectors from mining, agro-processes, ICT and we are now into manufacturing. We are in discussion to revive the railway to enable fast movement of goods.
“We have invested over R20 billion in Zimbabwe between 2003 and 2015. We have invested in a number of companies that include PPC cement processing company. Some of these initiatives are beginning to stabilise the economic challenges that Zimbabwe has been facing,” he said.
Mr Masina said South African companies were ready to comply fully with the laws of Zimbabwe.
He said an investment of over $571 million was coming to Zimbabwe in 2016 while other companies were still prospecting for business in the country.
“We are not bringing South African companies to loot in Zimbabwe, we are bringing them to add value and contribute towards mitigating some of the socio-economic challenges that have been bedevilling Zimbabwe that include issues around jobs and poverty.
“There are a number of investments that are coming through, for instance Tongaat Hullet is investing $8,8 million; we are in negotiations with Government in terms of the location. New Coal is investing in coal, oil and gas among other small investments that will also see South Africa investing $571 million in the country this year.
“We want to fully comply with the laws of the land and our people need to understand the indigenisation laws. We have agreed on infrastructural development and the manufacturing industry including fast-tracking our work around agro-processing among other things,” he said.
Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to South Africa, Ambassador Isaac Moyo, concurred that President Mugabe’s visit to that country had cultivated business opportunities between the two nations.
“President Mugabe highlighted the opportunities that were available in Zimbabwe and we decided to engage the business community in South Africa to come and explore some of the business opportunities.
“The embassy followed up with the Department of Trade and Industry in South Africa to implement this part of the agreement as had been briefed during President Mugabe’s visit. We also engaged the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry,” he said.