HARARE,– About $15 million out of $38 million availed to communities under the share ownership trust programme has been utilised so far, but companies are struggling o meet their commitments because of a cash squeeze in the economy, an official said on Thursday.

\n

Only $15mln used by community trusts so far as firms struggle to pay up, Senate told

\n

As part of the government’s empowerment law, some foreign owned firms pledged $10 million towards communities in which they operate, in addition to the 51 percent shares they are required by law to cede to local blacks.

\n

“We have 61 registered Community Share Ownership Trusts, but 15 of them have been capitalised. We had $38 million availed to those Community Share Ownership Trusts and $14 million out of that, has been used in various communities,” Indigenisation deputy minister Mathias Tongofa told the Senate during a question and answer session on Thursday.

\n

However, Tongofa said that companies were struggling with capitalisation and unable to fulfil their CSOT commitments.

\n

“It is also an issue which we need to work together as a community to make sure these companies come on board and really provide the seed capital. It is about the seed capital, these Community Share Ownership Trusts have been established, only that they do not have seed capital.”