Harare - Zimbabwe's central bank lifted Wednesday a ban on
the local unit of South Africa's Impala Platinum Holdings [JSE:IMP] using local
banking services over accusations it used offshore accounts, a company official
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) imposed the ban on
Zimplats last week saying the company continued to put money in offshore
Zimplats is the local unit of the world's second-largest
platinum producer Impala Platinum.
"We confirm that the RBZ has issued a directive
permitting Zimplats to access local banking services," Zimplats
spokesperson Busi Chindove said in an email responding to AFP questions.
Zimbabwe directed in March that foreign banks and mining
companies should keep their funds in local accounts instead of offshore.
"We are pleased that the RBZ has issued a directive to
normalise our access to local banking services and to allow us to export,"
said Chindove, adding that firm "did not have significant funds
offshore" as it is funding expansion projects at its plant.
The government earlier this year threatened to take Zimplats
over after it failed to submit a plan to distribute 51% of its shares to locals
under the country's indigenisation laws.
The company later struck a deal with the government offering
to give 10% shares to its workers, another 10% to a community trust near its
mine and 31% to the government's Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Fund.
Under the controversial local ownership law championed by
President Robert Mugabe, the government must pay for the shares it receives -
something the cash-strapped treasury has not budgeted for this year.