ZIMBABWE’S new cabinet has retained the controversial 51% indigenisation thresholds for foreign diamond and platinum miners, but it has deferred a 15% tax on unprocessed and semi-processed platinum exports as the country implements policy reforms to attract foreign investment.
The reforms follow the exit of Robert Mugabe as President of Zimbabwe last month and the subsequent swearing in of a new leader, Emmerson Mnangagwa. The new Zimbabwean leader has committed himself to restoring respect for property rights and investment protection.
Zimbabwean Finance Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, laid out some of the new policy measures in his 2018 budget statement on Thursday. He said the contentious 51% indigenisation ownership framework for foreign firms had been scrapped for all the other sectors of the economy, except parts of the mining sector.
Unfortunately for the margin-squeezed South African platinum producers including Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Sibanye-Stillwater, they still face having to relinquish control of their Zimbabwean mines to locals.
“Diamonds and platinum are the only sub-sectors designated as ‘extractive’. Accordingly, the proposed amendments will confine the 51/49 indigenisation threshold to only the two minerals, namely diamonds and platinum, in the extractive sector,” said Chinamasa.
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