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Charge us fairly, Chinamasa tells South African banks


FINANCE minister Patrick Chinamasa yesterday told South African financial institutions to charge Zimbabwean companies fairly and not to take advantage of the prevailing problems in the country.


Speaking at a one-day Zimbabwe-South Africa Investment Forum held in the capital, Chinamasa said South Africa was Zimbabwe’s key trading partner.

“Charge us fairly as you come to lend and invest with a view to bring us to the same level as you are. Do not charge us rates which are way above what you charge our counterparts. You are aware that we do not have the country risk that is talked about. I think those of you that have been here are aware that we do not have the country risk that is talked about. Do not take advantage of your neighbour’s problems and desperation to take his wife,” Chinamasa said.

He said the country’s economic well-being was tied to South Africa and the country should therefore help Zimbabwe. Chinamasa said the issue of people moving to South Africa through the porous borders should be addressed.

“We are therefore, hopeful that the South African development financial institutions will fund some of the Zim Asset [Zimbabwe Agenda for Socio-Economic Transformation] projects and also levy concessionary interest rates for these,” Chinamasa said.

He said the country has huge funding requirements and according to Zim Asset, half of the funding will go towards infrastructure and utilities.

Chinamasa said after the elections last year the government received a letter from the South African ambassador to Zimbabwe Vusi Mavimbela that the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA), Industrial Development Corporation SA, Public Investment Corporation and Transnet were eager to come and fund some of the projects under Zim Asset.

“I waited for an opportune time to engage my South African counterpart, honourable Nhlanhla Nene and was happy to have a meeting with him on the sidelines of the just ended Sadc Summit in Victoria Falls. I must say that it was fruitful which has even resulted in the realisation of this august conference,” he said.

Zim Asset requires a funding purse of $27 billion.

Chinamasa said DBSA and IDC SA were already undertaking some projects in the country. He said the country has various opportunities in the energy, power, road construction and other infrastructural projects country wide.

Industry and Commerce minister Michael Bimha said the country appreciated the partnership between Zimbabwe National Roads Administration and Group five South Africa where the country was financed to the tune of $230 million for its rehabilitation of major roads.

“The ongoing revamp of the Plumtree-Bulawayo-Harare and Mutare highways using funds provided by DBSA is a model that is appreciated. It is our hope that going into the future, more and similar projects will be rolled out with the support of our regional partners,” he said.

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