JOHANNESBURG, June 23– Hurdles faced by South African business people when doing business in Zimbabwe are in the spotlight at the three-day Zimbabwe-South Africa Investment Conference taking place in Sandton, Johannesburg.
On Thursday, Zimbabwean Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa arrived in Johannesburg for the conference which kicks off on Friday.
“Any policy that an investor wishes to question, or to get clarity on should be discussed in this particular conference. When we seek to have business in Zimbabwe, we must make sure that each and every programme and policy pronouncement that has been made must be clarified to the people who wish to invest,” said Kennedy Mapesa Mandaza of the Zim-SA Forum which organised the event.
“Any policy, be it indigenisation or the issue of bond notes, we have brought the right people to speak to that.”
Mandaza said the presence of Mnangagwa was proof that the Harare authorities were serious about wooing investment into South Africa’s northern neighbour.
“We are very elated as Zim-SA Forum. He is heading the economic ministries in Zimbabwe. He is here with a full team of ministers who also head economic ministries. That has spurred us to reach out to many business people in South Africa who will attend this conference,” he said.
Zimbabwean civic society however scorned the investment initiative as nothing but a money-making scheme.
“As a government, they have failed to account for $15 billion and with no shame Zim-SA Forum hosts such an event in a foreign land. We urge the delegates to not proceed with this event or we will make sure that we stop it. On Friday, if they converge, we shall be there. They refuse a diaspora ballot box and yet they want us to come and pay our hard earned cash to a regime who beats our parents, brothers and sisters to vote for them. They loot each and every second of our resources and never tire,” Shelton Chiyangwa of #Tajamuka Movement told African News Agency.
“Who have they come for in South Africa? There isn’t any ease of running a business in Zimbabwe. We clearly view this conference as a money making scheme by the Zim-SA Fforum. How do they justify the R50,000 they are charging to dine with Mnangagwa? Is he a God? If he was a God he would dine with people for free.”