Indigenisation under spotlight

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The Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe says it is holding consultations with the government following the gazetting of the guidelines for the implementation of the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act a fortnight ago.

Mining companies have been given 45 days to submit their indigenisation plans to the government after which they would be expected to implement the agreed plan within six months.

Contacted for comment the mining body’s president Chris Hokonya was on Thursday mum on the way forward.

However in a statement the chamber of mines said its proposals remain at 26% with the balance of 25% made up of credits arising from corporate social investments.

It said part of the 25% could also be used to support the small-scale mining sector, local procurement, skills development, release of ground and establishment of new businesses.

“The chamber is currently engaged with the government through the Ministry of Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment and the Mines and Mining Development ministry in pursuit of a mutually beneficial solution,” reads part of the statement.

“The concept of indigenisation and economic empowerment is accepted and supported by the industry and the industry believes it should be done in a way that will achieve the twin paramount objectives of growth and development of the industry and the Zimbabwe economy and broad-based economic empowerment.”

However, sources in the industry told NewsDay that mining companies were not happy with the latest move by the government to give them only six months to implement the plan instead of the previous five months as had been agreed.

“The industry is not happy at all. They are however not sure whether the government would be willing to lend them an ear now that the new guidelines have been gazetted,” sources said.

Last week Tetrad weekly bulletin said the recently gazetted additional indigenisation regulations pertaining to the mining sector were in contrast to the original five years that were required to regularise the shareholding after submission of the equity changeover plan.