Zim indigenises 185 mining firms

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe’s government has indigenised 185 mining firms out of a total 405 applications, businessdaily has learnt.

Zimbabwe’s empowerment policy — enacted in 2008 — compels foreigners to cede 51 percent shareholding to black locals.

According to Zanu PF’s sixth national congress central committee report, government has received 1 480 indigenisation policy compliance proposals from all sectors and has processed and approved 802.

In mining a total of 405 applications were received and 185 were approved, leaving 261 pending while 390 were submitted in manufacturing and 187 of these are still pending approval.

Out of the 11 submitted in agriculture, four are still pending.

The report, which gives a sectorial outline of compliance plans submitted, states that in “reserved sectors” 1 750 applicants were also received from October 2013 to September 30, 2014.

“The global total is 1 480, with 802 approved and 678 awaiting approvals. In reserved sectors 1 750 applications were received, 884 were approved and 866 are pending approvals,” the report said.

In the Information and Communication Technology, 21 applications were submitted and six are still pending. In tourism, 23 applications are still pending after 54 were submitted.

Fifty-seven engineering and construction companies submitted compliance applications and 35 were approved. In energy, six applications are still pending, after 24 applications were submitted.

Eighty-eight finance institutions submitted and 40 were approved. In health three applications are still pending, after five out of eight submissions were approved.

In the services sector, 17 applications are still pending approval after 53 submissions were handed in. Nine retailers are still waiting for approvals, while 51 applications were submitted.

Thirteen realtors await the nod, after 25 applications were approved of the 38 submitted. “Other sectors” sent in 280 applications, 160 have been approved and 120 are still pending.

Analysts have for years been fingering the country’s empowerment laws as the main reason investors have shunned Zimbabwe.

The investment-starved country is desperately trying to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) and access international lines of credit.

Zimbabwe’s FDI inflows plummeted by 53 percent to $146, 6 million in the 10 months to October 2014 compared to $311, 3 million recorded in same period last year.

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said the foreign capital inflows remained subdued due to the perceived country risk.

However, he projected the FDI to increase by 69 percent in 2015 on the back of continued implementation of reforms and the re-engagement process.

The World Bank has said that five years of investor-friendly policies in the mining sector alone could increase annual output by $5 billion.

Foreign investors have failed to react to Zimbabwe’s FDI attraction policies as the country’s FDI figures last year stagnated at $400 million, as shown by a United Nations Conference on Trade and Investment (UNCTAD) World Investment Report for 2014.

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