Government yesterday cancelled the operating licence of Zimbabwe Platinum Mine Limited (Zimplats) after the mining giant failed to meet the 14-day ultimatum issued by Indigenisation and Empowerment minister Saviour Kasukuwere.
Zimplats currently employs 4 000 workers, including contractors, and projections were that the conglomerate would employ 6 000 within the next two years and 10 000 in five years.
Yesterday, Kasukuwere said the Zimplats proposal was non-compliant with the law and was therefore rejected.
“We have in many instances tried to engage them on a win-win situation. As government, as the ministry, we have reached the end of the road. We have cancelled the operating licence for Zimplats,” he said.
The minister said Zimplats refused to negotiate with government besides the fact that the company was given the $4,8 million resource for free and was making $200 million profit annually.
“In regard to Zimplats, it’s arrogance all the way,” he said.
Zimplats is 87% controlled by South Africa-based Impala Platinum Holdings.
He said as regards Mimosa Mine, they met with government yesterday and expected positive results.
“We are not very angry with Mimosa. I am sure we will be able to come up with a win-win situation,” he said.
Kasukuwere will today meet Finance minister Tendai Biti to conclude the thresholds for the banking sector.
Zimplast deputy chairman Muchadeyi Masunda said Kasukuwere was scheduled to meet Implats chief executive officer David Brown yesterday where they were supposed to agree on a revised indigenisation plan. After their meeting they were supposed to hold a joint Press conference, but Brown did not turn up due to other commitments.
Masunda said this was not the time to play confrontational games, arguing Kasukuwere appeared to have “thrown his toys out of the cot”.
“We remain committed to sitting down not only with Kasukuwere, but Mines minister Obert Mpofu and other ministers interested. This is not the time to be using bully-boy tactics. We are in a hole as a country and Kasukuwere should stop behaving like a proverbial bull in a china shop,” Masunda said.
“We are in a hole as a country and we should stop digging (in). We have never said we are anti-indigenisation and our track record speaks for itself. I don’t know whether he is grandstanding or not, but we don’t have any issues with government.”
A fortnight ago Kasukuwere warned Implats to stop meddling in the country’s politics, but to comply with indigenisation and empowerment regulations.
Earlier, in our business section, we carried a report that Zimplats was in talks with the government over indigenisation thresholds.