Mining BEE laws 'hold Zimbabwe back'

Zimbabwe should consider scrapping provisions compelling foreign mines to sell majority stakes to locals and instead allow miners to set their own empowerment targets, said an industry official.

Zimbabwe should consider scrapping provisions compelling foreign mines to sell majority stakes to locals and instead allow miners to set their own empowerment targets, said an industry official.

Foreign investors are concerned by the government's indigenisation laws, which has led to many companies witholding investment needed to raise mining production after a slump in the past seven years.

The southern African country has enacted a law which forces foreign companies, including mines and banks, to sell 51percent ownership to local blacks while allowing the government to seize 25percent of shares in some mines without paying.

Mining has become the leading source of foreign exchange for the country with gold accounting for a third of exports, but political turmoil has led to several mines closing. - Reuters

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