SA business calls for Zim guarantees

South African business leaders yesterday called for guarantees to protect new investment in Zimbabwe after noting efforts by Harare's new unity government to attract business to help its battered economy.

South African business leaders yesterday called for guarantees to protect new investment in Zimbabwe after noting efforts by Harare's new unity government to attract business to help its battered economy.

A weekend government reconstruction summit produced a 100-day action plan that seeks to end Zimbabwe's isolation and aims at re-engagement with Western governments seen as crucial in funding an economic recovery plan.

Mining magnate Patrice Motsepe led a 22-member delegation from Business Unity South Africa, which held talks with President Robert Mugabe and Finance Minister Tendai Biti in Harare.

"It was a very frank discussion. The critical thing is that the rules of investment should remain in place," Motsepe told reporters after the meeting.

Western donors have withheld aid to Zimbabwe over policy differences with Mugabe, including the seizure of white-owned farms for distribution to blacks.

Last year's enactment of a law seeking to transfer control of foreign firms to locals also unnerved investors. - Reuters

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