Biti to meet SA finance Minister over R300 million loan


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ZIMBABWE – SOUTH African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan will meet his Zimbabwean counterpart, Tendai Biti, to discuss the country’s request for further financial assistance.

In a statement, the South African Finance Ministry confirmed the meeting will be held before the end of the month.

“The South African Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, is scheduled to meet his Zimbabwean counterpart, Mr Tendai Biti, this month to discuss Zimbabwe’s request for further financial assistance. The request will thereafter be discussed by the South African Cabinet.

South Africa has previously assisted Zimbabwe, contributing R300 million to the Sadc Agriculture Support Programme, a portion of which was used for the purchase of seeds, fer-tiliser and fuel for agricultural production in Zimbabwe,” the statement reads.

Last week Minister Biti said he had approached the South African government for a US$100 million budgetary support following depressed revenue inflows into Treasury.

He said Zimbabwe has been missing nearly US$30 million in monthly revenue targets adding this was likely to affect payment of bonuses to civil servants this year.

Between January and December, Treasury collected US$1,6 billion against a target of US$1,8 billion. South Africa has previously provided support to Zimbabwe through the African Renaissance Fund in terms of an agreement reached in 2008.

It also extended R300 million as a budget support grant for the rehabilitation of municipal infrastructure, including water reticulation, health services and education in terms of an agreement reached in 2009.

Last week Zimbabwe also signed a US$66 million credit facility that will assist various Government projects that have been stalled by the unavailability of funds.

Sadc countries pledged financial assistance to Zimbabwe when the inclusive Government was formed as part of efforts to turn around the country’s economy.

Minister Biti said apart from South Africa he will also approach Angola for lines of credit.

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