SA business fumes as Zimbabwe pulls out of investment agreement

Frank Maponya

Frank Maponya

A business forum and a signing ceremony of bilateral investments between the governments of South Africa and Zimbabwe proved to be a damp squib.

This happened when the Zimbabweans withdrew at the last minute.

The event was scheduled to take place at the Meropa Casino in Polokwane, Limpopo, yesterday. More than 50 business people from as far as Venda and Phalaborwa were angry at the event being postponed.

The event was about the signing of an agreement on health and a memoranda of understanding on cooperation and mutual assistance on immigration matters.

In attendance was supposed to be South Africa's ministers of Trade and Industry, Health and Home Affairs and their Zimbabwean counterparts.

Trade and Investment Limpopo was represented by Manabile Shogole, head of international relations, while the provincial department of economic development, environment and tourism was represented by Lilly Maja, the department's acting general manager for sector development.

A source said the Zimbabweans did not turn up because they did not agree with some of the terms of reference of the memorandum of agreement.

"Efforts by Business Unity of South Africa to be led by mining magnate Patrice Motsepe to meet Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe were in vain as a result of this sudden postponement," said the source, who did not wish to be identified.