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Mines minister maintains locals will control majority stakes in mining

Mines Minister Walter Chidhakwa has maintained that the 51-49 percent indigenisation requirement, with locals owning the majority stake, will apply in the mining sector but there will be flexibility in the implementation time frame.  “We are still studying the system but what’s clear is that we will take a simple approach. The 51-49 percent threshold is a requirement enacted by Zimbabwean legislators as such it will stick. It’s not negotiable. We can only be flexible on the period that companies will be able to achieve this,” he told The Herald. Chidhakwa was commenting on new indigenisation legislation that gives powers to line ministries to be flexible instead of sticking to the one-size fits all which was 51-49 and had to be implemented within five years. “The only drive going forward will therefore be on whether Zimbabwe has the right representation to ensure that it defends its 51 percent or the method it will use to ensure that the stake achieves the desired result,” Chidhakwa said. He said the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe was being transformed through the enactment of the Mining Exploration and Promotions Company Act because growing the mining sector was more important. “Remember when MMCZ was established issues of transfer pricing and marketing were critical. However, over the years, the shift has been towards discovery as there are available markets for most of the minerals. So for Government, growing the mining sector through exploration is more important as it determines the value of resource on the ground.”

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