Indigenisation laws 'to erode Zimbabweans' wealth'

2014-01-09 12:37


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Cape Town - Zimbabwe’s controversial indigenisation laws are expected to further erode the wealth of Zimbabweans, who are already ranked among the poorest on the continent, a survey has revealed.

According to a Business Day report, a survey by New World Health revealed that Zimbabwe’s wealth per capita stood at $570 last year while South Africa’s was at $11 310.

Andrew Amoils, a senior analyst at New World Health, said if Zimbabwe continued with its controversial indigenisation programme, which requires foreign companies to cede a 51% shareholding in their companies to locals, its citizens’ wealth would continue to erode.

The elite and politicians

Wealth per capita is a measure of the net assets held by individuals including real estate, shares, business interests and intangibles, while excluding primary residences.

According to the research released this week, Zimbabwe fared slightly better thanTanzania ($450), Mozambique ($430), Uganda ($360) and Ethiopia ($260).

Newzimbabwe.com said Zimbabwe was rich in mineral resources, many of them largely untapped, or were simply plundered by the country's elite and politicians.

Zimbabwe used to be ranked among the wealthiest countries before the controversial farm invasions in 2000. The country used to top the list ahead of Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia and Ghana, according to Amoils. In the past 13 years, it has fallen far behind these countries, due partly to the erosion of ownership rights, currency devaluation and hyperinflation.

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