SASOL Company Eyes Zimbabwe Warily
The South Africa Synthetic Oil Liquid (SASOL) company is reportedly looking at Zimbabwe as one of its potential areas of investment with much caution according to the Joint President and Chief Executive Officer Bongani Nqwababa.
By Charles Lotara
Asked what needs to be done by the new president for the company to come in, Nqwababa said, “There needs to be liquidity, there needs to be confidence, confidence is the biggest lacking issue. Confidence in what rules they are not going to change, that is what is required so that investors can then because in our industry we invest for 30 or 40 years, you do not want to invest when the rules might change and haunt you down.”
Scores of foreign investors fled Zimbabwe after the Indigenization and Economic Empowerment Act which allows them to take only 49% of their shares while 51% goes to the government was enacted on April 17 2008 under the regime of former President Robert Mugabe.
The major objective of the law is to dilute foreign domination of the Zimbabwean economy by empowering the previously disadvantaged indigenous black Zimbabweans to ‘fully and meaningfully’ participate in mainstream economic activities, and this has to date kept foreign investors suspicious.
“I understand there’s a new political dispensation and there’s green light for investors to go in the country, but time will tell. It is important to understand what will happen because we do not want to rush in when the fundamentals have not truly improved.” Nqwababa added.
Sasol is an international integrated chemicals and energy company that leverages technologies and the expertise of our 30 300 people working in 33 countries.
It develops and commercializes technologies, and build and operate world-scale facilities to produce a range of high-value product stream, including liquid fuels, chemicals and low-carbon electricity.
According to Nqwababa, Sasol’s focus and strong project pipeline means it is actively capitalizing on the growth opportunities that play to its strengths in Southern Africa and North America.
“Our focus is creating value sustainably and we are proud to be taking this company, to new frontiers.”
Sasol which was established in 1950 in South Africa and it remains one of the country’s largest investors in capital projects, skills development and technological research and development might extend its branch to Zimbabwe the much needed fundamentals are put in place.
The company is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in South Africa and on the New York Stock Exchange in the United States.