South Africa company speaks on committing R55 billion to Zimbabwe

South African Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mphakama Mbete. Photo: Afican Media.

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA (ADV) – A South African Company, Tumagole Consortium has asked Zimbabwe to sign a binding contract with them that will see it investing about R55 billion.

This was revealed after Tumahole Consortium officials, led by South African Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mphakama Mbete, paid a courtesy call on Vice President Constantino Chiwenga yesterday.

The company stated that it is ready to roll out at least R100 million in the first two years, into the coal-bed methane mining project in Lupane.

Natural gas reserves were discovered in the Lupane-Lubimbi area, Matabeleland North Province, a few decades ago, but commercial exploitation has not taken off.

“Working on the project under a non-binding contract is under way and if we get a binding contract, we would invest more,” said Thapelo Tshephe, a Tumagole Consortium representative.

“It is a very good project if we can be given the binding contract. We will be able to roll out at least R100 million in the next two years, although the total investment is about R55 billion.

“We already have commitments from South African banks. We will also get technical support from big companies like Sassol,” he said.

Ambassador Mbete said Zimbabwe and South Africa were in talks on how to strengthen cooperation in all areas of development.

“Talks began as early as last December, on Boxing Day, between the finance ministers of both countries and governors of the two’s reserve banks.

“The talks started about possible cooperation between the two countries and it is important to note that the ministers and the governors met at the instructions of the two Presidents.

“The talks are sensitive and very strategic. So we will inform the world and the media as progress comes. They are so sensitive that at this moment, they are only being handled at the level of the ministers,” he said.

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