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From April 1 the Zimbabwe cabinet will cancel licences for foreign firms, including those operating mines and banks, that have not complied with a law to sell majority shares to locals, Empowerment Minister Patrick Zhuwao said on Wednesday.
Zimbabwe had given foreign-owned firms a March 2016 deadline to submit plans on how to comply with a law requiring them to sell at least 51% shares to locals.
“Businesses have continued to disregard Zimbabwe’s indigenisation laws as if daring our President and his government to do something about their contemptuous behaviour,” Zhuwao told reporters. “It’s either you comply or you close shop.”
The Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act was passed in 2008 under President Robert Mugabe’s black empowerment drive but implementation has been slow. Some foreign companies say the law will hinder much-needed investment.
The world’s two largest platinum producers Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum and banking groups Standard Chartered Plc and Barclays Plc are some of the foreign-owned firms with operations in Zimbabwe.
Amplats and Implats have previously submitted empowerment plans to be considered by Mugabe’s government. Zhuwao said he did not have details of which companies had complied with the law and would not be banned.(Source: Miningweekly)