Zimbabwe to change black empowerment law to reassure investors

Zimbabwe plans to amend a black empowerment law that aims to transfer majority shares from foreign-owned firms to locals after it was blamed for deterring investment,  the country’s President Robert Mugabe said Wednesday, Reuters reports

The indigenization and economic empowerment law requires foreign companies, including mining firms and banks, to transfer at least 51 percent of shares to black Zimbabweans.

The President’s ministers have often issued conflicting statements on the policy hence implementing it has been a challenge.

Mugabe in April said the law was confusing businesses and made it hard for Zimbabwe to compete for foreign investment.

Speaking to parliament, Mugabe said that the relevant Act would be amended to bring it into consonance with enunciated policy. He did not give more details.

The President said in April mining companies would be deemed to have complied with the law if they retain 75 percent of the value generated from local minerals in Zimbabwe.

In its current form, the empowerment policy requires foreign-owned miners like Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Aquarius Platinum to cede 51 percent shares in their local operations to the government, mining communities, employees and an empowerment trust.

Source: Reuters