DIDG won the $400 million tender to recapitalise and operate the NRZ, in partnership with Transnet of South Africa.
The Zimbabwean government is this week on a charm offensive to woo investors in South Africa with its “Zimbabwe is open for business” summit currently underway in Johannesburg.
Hosted by Zimbabwe’s embassy in South Africa, the summit has attracted government officials, diplomats, business people, local and international media and Zimbabweans based in different parts of South Africa.
Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to South Africa, David Hamadziripi, told the gathering that his country was now on a new trajectory of economic development and equal opportunity.
“Zimbabwe is a rich and enchantingly beautiful country blessed with welcoming, friendly, hardworking, highly skilled, resourceful and resilient people. Currently, the news about Zimbabwe is dominated by the old, tired, largely depressing narrative about economic challenges and hardships facing this country of immense opportunity,” said Hamadziripi.
“Let me tell you some obvious and incontrovertible truths. Zimbabwe will not rise again by being pitied. Zimbabwe will not rise again by being mocked and laughed at. Zimbabwe will rise again through the efforts and contributions of all its people first and foremost. This has already begun.”
He said the summit, which also was also attended by South Africans doing business in Zimbabwe, was Harare’s effort to woo more international players into the economy which suffered hyperinflation and recently had an economic meltdown which saw shops run out of goods and citizens queue for fuel.
Eric Bruggeman, chief executive of SA Capital Equipment Export Council, said doing business in Zimbabwe has not always been smooth sailing.
“One of the problems we found with Zimbabwe is, until now, I don’t know who to speak to. We’ve had several meetings and I guess you’ve heard the politics … with certain politician you can only go so far and then nothing happens. Or you have a forum like today where people say let’s do something, let’s get together and [afterwards] you can’t get hold of them anymore,” said Bruggeman.
“Hopefully, today we can sit with all the gentlemen … we want to do business. This morning I had a company calling me to say how do we do business in Zimbabwe? Zimbabwe is an important market for South Africa. We don’t want to just dump goods. As capital equipment, our members, they don’t go into a country to dump goods. We form partnerships. That’s the way, we need to use Zimbabwean people to service, maintain, install and to build our equipment.”- ANA