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Zimbabwe gov’t poised to nationalize platinum mine

By Gillian Gotora Associated Press | Last updated: Mar 14, 2012 - 5:05:19 PM

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Zimbabwe Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment
'Indigenous Zimbabweans must own & benefit from the exploitation and utilization of their God given natural resources.'
HARARE, Zimbabwe - Zimbabwe’s Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment said he will proceed with a takeover of the country’s biggest platinum mine if the South African owners don’t comply with orders to hand over more stakes in the company to Blacks.

Minister Saviour Kasukuwere said Feb. 28 there is “no compromise” over the eventual handover of 51 percent of the company’s stock as is required by “indigenization” laws.

Last year, Zimplats became the first foreign-owned company to cede 10 percent of its holdings to a local community trust. Zimbabwe has ordered the company to hand over another 30 percent by mid-March. South African-based Implats owns 87 percent of existing shares in Zimplats.

Zimbabwe and South Africa are the world’s largest suppliers of platinum, a corrosion-resistant metal with a wide range of industrial uses that is priced higher than gold.

Mr. Kasukuwere told The Associated Press that a proposed visit by Implats’ chief executive to discuss the matter would not change the government’s decision.

He said he has no plans to meet with Implats chief David Brown.

“I don’t need to meet them over anything. Why are they coming to see me? I’m not a zoo,” Mr. Kasukuwere told AP. “I have nothing to discuss. They must respect the laws of this country.”

Parliament last year passed a law that calls for all foreign-controlled businesses to take on Black partners as majority stockholders.

The former opposition party of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has voiced concerns that the prospect of hasty takeovers scares off much-needed investment. The party has called for accountability and careful implementation of the “indigenization” program that risks collapsing some viable businesses and mines.

President Robert Mugabe’s party—which is in a shaky threeyear coalition with Mr. Tsvangirai— says China can provide new technical expertise in mining and manufacturing.

Related news and links:

Significance of Indigenisation  in Modern day Zimbabwe (Public Address: MP, S. Kasukuwere)

Minister Farrakhan's Message to Zimbabwe (FCN, 07-15-2002)

Read more Stories on Zimbabwe (FCN)