Recently Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube scrapped the 5% levy on raw platinum exports that was introduced back in 2020. The tax was meant to encourage the various mining companies in the platinum sector to invest in domestic value addition services in Zimbabwe but platinum companies hated it because they never had any intention of doing so. Instead, they prefer, for a number of reasons, to ship off raw platinum to South Africa.

They wrote to me and gave me good reasons as to why this tax is not a good tax and that it is hurting investments. Certainly, in their arguments, I was convinced and the Government was convinced and I also briefed His Excellence (the President).

And we decided, as a Government, to remove or suspend that tax, so it’s no longer applicable and this has been welcomed by the platinum industry.

Because it’s about a change in tax, it is always better to effect it in a Finance Bill Amendment, but that tax is not being collected by anyone.

Mthuli Ncube speaking to ZTN on the issue

Kow towing to big business

Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube has little regard for the informal sector which he loves to tax to the ground. The result has been that more people now live in poverty compared to 2017 thanks to a plethora of taxes such as the IMT tax which is now 4%. In contrast, he has sweetheart deals for big businesses which he allows to partake in auctions and gives tax exemptions like this one. It is no wonder we have a skewed income gap that is growing with the rich getting richer and poorer getting poorer.

It is also a continuation of the government’s policy of giving undue deference to big mines which seem to benefit from opaque deals that allow them to ride roughshod of the law. It is also concerning that parliament continues to be circumvented in these flip-flop policies. The law was meant to encourage local development and it is now being jettisoned by one man with little regard for what the long-term policy or goal is. That is another issue with the Zimbabwean economic management. The apparent lack of long-term goals with everything being run on a whim.