The newspaper quoted Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Tendai Biti as saying that Industry and Commerce Minister Welshman Ncube and his South African counterpart Rob Davies were consulting on the BIPA.

"The negotiations will be concluded in the next few weeks," Biti said.

According to Biti, South African business people who wanted to invest in Zimbabwe had "insisted" on a BIPA being signed.

According to our source, Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Minister Elton Mangoma, the BIPA should be signed by the end of July.

The signing of the agreement between the countries was postponed in March, apparently after Harare objected to a clause in the accord referring to land and investments on land, the newspaper said.

According to Mangoma, the BIPA could have been signed months ago had it not been for the elections in South Africa in April that saw new appointments in government ministries and departments from those involved in negotiating the agreement.