Stanbic Avails US$20 million Loan To Young Entrepreneurs

Government has in the past accused Stanbic of failing to honour its obligation when it bought the then ANZ Grindlays bank in 1993.

When it bought the bank, Stanbic said it would offer 30% shareholding to locals.

Youth Development Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere said the move by Stanbic is a welcome development as we seek to place the youth at the centre of national development.

“My ministry will work very closely with Stanbic in ensuring that young people access the funds and are properly skilled and prepared for the heavy responsibilities they have to carry,” he said.

“All our youths irrespective of your tribe, religion, creed or political persuasion have unfettered access to the funds.”

He said the huge injection is a huge vote of confidence to the country’s youths.

The support from Stanbic comes barely a month after Old Mutual unveiled a US$11 million Youth Empowerment Fund and signals that foreign owned companies are warming up to Indigenisation and Empowerment Act meant to economically empower locals.

Since the gazetting of the regulations governing the empowerment legislation last year, there have been calls by neutrals that the law scares away foreign investors. However, government has plunged headlong with implementing the legislation.

The Act wants locals to have 51% in foreign owned companies operating in Zimbabwe over a period of five years.

The shares should be transferred to community trusts, employee trusts and the sovereign wealth fund to cater for future generations.

Meanwhile Kasukuwere described as careless statement by Caledonia Mining Stefan Hayden that Zanu-PF was using the indigenisation drive as “political football”.

Hayden told a mining publication that “If Zanu-PF plays the indigenisation card now, then, come the elections, there is nothing left to play”.

Kasukuwere said the empowerment programme is not about elections but the rights of Zimbabweans to benefit from resources.

“We are studying his statement and if he has chosen to abandon the process we had agreed upon, then as government we will not hesitate to complete the transaction in the interests of our people,” he said.

“Shareholders must ensure that rabid directors and executives are made to respect our laws and work in harmony with government.”

Caledonia is an African focused mining and exploration company with an operating gold mine in Zimbabwe (Blanket Mine), two platinum-nickel exploration projects in South Africa and a cobalt-copper exploration project in Zambia amongst its exploration portfolio in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia.