The National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board (NIEEB) requires at least $1 billion to carry out empowerment projects in the country, NIEEB chairman David Chapfika said.
Speaking at a one-day workshop organised by the board in Harare on Tuesday, Chapfika said they were allocated a paltry $5 million for 2011 activities far less than what was required.
He said massive financial resources were required for the board to carry out the necessary interventions sector by sector.
“It is important that we are capacitated as a board and that enabling statutory instruments are put in place in order to set in motion the process,” Chapfika said.
“We also need to collect levies and be able to borrow from capital markets. The funds will help us in recruiting more staff to carry out empowerment projects in the country.”
NIEEB is a special purpose vehicle set up by government to drive the indigenisation and empowerment programme.
The board is empowered by Section 12 of the Indigenisation Act to set up the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Fund (NIEEF).
“We are appealing to government to empower us with the instruments required for financing such as the Prescribed Asset Status (PAS) as well as approvals of the empowerment levy,” Chapfika said.
He said NIEEB seeks to facilitate rural development through the Accelerated Rural Development programme. Chapfika said through programmes such as the Community Share Ownership Trust communities would benefit from activities taking place in their respective areas.
“Communities should therefore be assisted to craft a Trust Deed that enables them to acquire 10% to 20% shareholding in mining entities within their surroundings.
“This will to a large extent facilitate the concept of broad- based empowerment in the mining sector.”
Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment Saviour Kasukuwere said so far 13 sectoral reports had been received from various sectors and had since submitted mining proposals to Cabinet.
“We are now looking at the banking sector, as it has been treating our people in manner that leaves a lot to be desired,” Kasukuwere said.
“If they do not want to serve our people then they should not continue to hang on in here.” Kasukuwere said the banking sector should put in place programmes and policies in line with the aspiration of the country’s population.
He said government had decided to own 100% in diamond mining. “We have 100% ownership for diamonds but we do not have anything specific with regards to platinum,” Kasukuwere said.
NIEEB is trying to put into motion the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act, which has been dormant since its promulgation in 2007 until government launched general regulations in January last year.
The Act prohibits foreigners from owning and controlling more than 49% of Zimbabwe-registered companies.
The statutory regulations currently under surgery oblige every firm with a net asset value of at least $500 000 to comply with the legislation.