Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

***The views expressed in the articles published on this website DO NOT necessarily express the views of the Commercial Farmers' Union.***

SA keen to invest in Zimbabwe

SA keen to invest in Zimbabwe

October 19, 2012 in Business

SOUTH African Trade and Industry deputy minister Elizabeth Thabethe 
(pictured) (ET) is in Zimbabwe, leading a trade and investment delegation of 
33 companies.

Report by Faith Zaba

Zimbabwe Independent News Editor Faith Zaba (FZ) spoke to her on Wednesday 
on several issues including trade, investment, indigenisation and 
intra-Africa trade.

FZ: Investors have expressed concern over Zimbabwe’s indigenisation policy. 
Is this an issue among South African investors?
ET: They (the business delegations) want to seek clarity on how it is going 
to work and how it is going to be implemented. That is what people are 
asking. Overall people are positive. They are keen to contribute to the 
recovery of the Zimbabwe economy.

FZ: The balance-of-trade between the two countries is one sided. How can 
this be redressed?
ET: As you know it is skewed in our favour. So if we were another country, 
we would sit and relax) we have nothing to lose. But we don’t believe in 
that. We believe in working together and dealing with the imbalances. We 
have businesspeople coming in so that they can end up investing here.

FZ: How sustainable is this skewed trade balance in the long term?
ET: We live in a global village and you can’t work as an island. It (trade 
imbalance) will take time to be balanced. We believe in doing these trade 
missions (since) it is then that we try and deal with the trade imbalance.

FZ: Bippa agreements have often been disregarded. What is South Africa doing 
to deal with such issues?
ET: They should go to the embassy which is able to deal with them. It’s not 
like they are not getting any help. The ambassador must be vocal in 
assisting and supporting some of the moves here to make sure that we can 
have a fair trade.

FZ: But when such cases happen, doesn’t that put off investors in Zimbabwe?
ET: The people who are doing business from South Africa are increasing, not 
decreasing. If there were bigger problems, we wouldn’t find South African 
people investing here. We still have a lot of companies that are operating 
here. So in essence, when problems arise, they are tackled.

FZ: Do the impending elections have an impact on investment and trade?
ET: We believe that every country has its own systems of democratic 
processes and elections come and go. The country can’t stop just because 
there are elections. Elections are going to come and we hope that they will 
be free and fair. Governments come and go (and) some are re-elected, but 
people-to-people relations stay.

FZ: What are your views on a single regional currency?
ET: That can only come after thorough negotiations. Just look at the euro 
zone; there are problems now. Remember we are developing countries (and) a 
developing continent. The needs and priorities are much more. We can come to 
that at a later stage. To me, it is too early to talk about a single 

FZ: How would you describe the two countries’ relations?
ET: Without the political will, you won’t have the economic relations with 
other countries. You first have to have the political relationship. You need 
the political will and the political relationship so that the government to 
government economic relationship is also informed in what you do. So far, 
the relationship between our two heads of state seems OK.
It has paved the way for some of the things that are happening now.


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