South Africa’s Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan will meet his Zimbabwean counterpart Tendai Biti this week to discuss Zimbabwe’s loan request for 827 million Rand (about US$100 million), Finance Department spokesperson Phumza Macanda said.
PANA reports that Harare is seeking funds from southern Africa to help finance its budget.
Apart from South Africa, Zimbabwe is also seeking a US$50m credit facility from Angola and other members of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).
Macanda said after the meeting, the request would be tabled before the Cabinet.
Meanwhile, the official opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) has said a budgetary support loan should not be granted without strict conditions.
DA international relations spokesperson Ian Davidson said in a statement that he had written to Gordhan asking that any funding to Zimbabwe have conditions aimed at helping the country reach peaceful political transition.
“In particular, we cannot provide funding to Zimbabwe if (an) agreement is not reached on a new… constitution, or if an election is held before the new constitution has been finalised and agreed by all relevant parties,” Davidson said.
The DA expressed concern that the money would be used for political campaigning and to fund Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s militia, rather than for the benefit of the Zimbabwean public.
“We will also recommend that the funding is given on a ring-fenced basis for specific projects and not as a blank cheque for Mugabe,” the party said.
In a related development, the sale of military equipment to Zimbabwe has also sparked controversy and calls for Pretoria to explain its actions.
The National Conventional Arms Control Committee has revealed it had exported millions of Rands worth of military equipment to Zimbabwe and Rwanda.