Zim threatens to cancel SA mining giant’s licence

2011-09-07 09:37

Harare – Zimbabwe’s indigenisation minister says he will cancel the licence of South African-owned platinum mining giant Zimplats because the firm is refusing to hand over 51% of its shares to blacks, state media reported.

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe’s side of the country’s shaky coalition government wants all foreign and white-owned firms worth more than $500 million to hand over majority shares within five years.

Zimplats is among 11 firms that were given ultimatums in August to furnish “acceptable” indigenisation plans.

“Zimplats continues to defy the laws of this land,” Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere was quoted as saying by the official Herald newspaper today.

“We have taken the position to deem them non-compliant in terms of provisions of the Indigenisation Act,” he added.

Kasukuwere will now contact the mines ministry “with a view to initiate the process to revoke the operating licence of Zimplats,” the Herald said.

Impala Platinum of South Africa has the majority shareholding in Zimplats, which mines for platinum on the Great Dyke, a range of hills stretching through central Zimbabwe.

Kasukuwere has also issued an ultimatum to financial services provider Old Mutual, allegedly because it had “failed” to implement an earlier empowerment proposal.

“You are required to provide me with the progress report within seven days of receipt of this letter, failure of which no further indulgence shall be granted,” he said in a letter dated September 1.

In a speech to parliament yesterday, Mugabe said investments would be “safe” in Zimbabwe, but told foreign investors to comply with the country’s indigenisation laws.

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