Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa today appealed to South African development financial institutions for cheap finance as several parastatals seek $14.7 billion for retooling and to revive operations.
A delegation of South African development financial institutions – Development Bank of South Africa, Public Investment Corporation , Transnet and Industrial Development Corporation – is in Harare for talks on funding for several infrastructural and utility projects.
The government and DBSA are reportedly in talks over a $700 million loan to fund the rehabilitation of the National Railways of Zimbabwe.
“Charge us fairly with a view to bring us to the same level of development as (South Africa is) industrially and in infrastructure. Don’t take advantage of your neighbour’s problems or desperation,” said Chinamasa.
“Don’t charge us interest rates which are way above what you charge South African businesses. Being our neighbour you know we don’t have the country risk that is spoken of.”
Chinamasa said developing the country’s infrastructure and economy would stop the migration of people to South Africa to seek better opportunities.
An estimated three million Zimbabweans live in the neighbouring country.
“You know all our boarders are porous and you can’t stamp that tide. It is in your interest to keep people in their countries,” Chinamasa said.
“We should reverse that tide and it can only be reversed if, through your assistance we develop to the same level industrially as South Africa.”
South Africa is Zimbabwe’s largest trading partner, accounting for at least 40 percent of total exports and 60 percent of total imports. – The Source