'Mnangagwa's govt failing to fund industry revival'

'Mnangagwa's govt failing to fund industry revival'
Published: 26 April 2019
INDUSTRY and Commerce minister Mangaliso Ndlovu has expressed concern over government's failure to adequately fund industries in their retooling and modernisation exercises.

Speaking during a buyers and sellers forum organised by the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI), Ndlovu said due to underfunding from the national budget, his ministry has roped in development partners to provide funding.

"As government, we are concerned by the non-availability of adequate and affordable funding to assist businesses to retool and mordenise, which are key competitive tools if business is to compete in this global economy," Ndlovu said.

Due to non-availability of funding, Ndlovu said they found it prudent to restructure the Zimbabwe Industrial Development Corporation (Zidc) from investing in green field areas to a development finance institution to help unlock value in industries.
The restructuring will see Zidc having a sole mandate of mobilising and providing funding for industrial development.
In the 2019 National Budget, Finance minister Mthuli Ncube allocated $30 million to support the retooling programme.

However, Ndlovu conceded that the $30 million allocated by Ncube is not adequate to meet all requirements of supporting industry and have since engaged development partners such as the African Export-Import (Afrexim) Bank.

He said they are finalising the process to allow beneficiaries to access the funds and utilise them to improve the country's export capacity.

"We need to generate foreign currency to fund our critical imports and this facility, once accessible companies are encouraged to utilise it fully," Ndlovu said, adding that government will continue to provide an enabling environment for businesses to grow and expand their activities.

According to Ndlovu, his ministry is prioritising the ease and cost of doing business reforms which have seen government take strides in establishing a one-stop investment services centre.

Speaking at the International Business Conference on Wednesday, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga highlighted that ease of doing business reforms are moving at a snail's pace and as a result, bureaucratic red tape and high costs of doing business continue to render the country an unattractive investment destination.

As a result, Chiwenga said the government will expedite the enactment of the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (Zida) Bill which is now before Parliament.

Once fully established, Zida will decide on investment applications within a day.
- dailynews


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