By Bulawayo Correspondent
GOVERNMENT says it has come up with a raft of strategies to both resuscitate and restructure distressed industries in Bulawayo.
Once the country’s industrial hub, Bulawayo has suffered company closures and the relocation of firms to Harare in the last two decades, resulting in loss of jobs for thousands of residents.
Speaking to captains of industry and commerce during a breakfast meeting held in the city Wednesday, Industry and Commerce minister Sekai Nzenza said the government has identified key industries in the region on which it is going to offer operational support.
The minister said one of the companies identified under the project included the Beitbridge Juice Company which is involved in the production of concentrates from citrus fruits.
Nzenza said her Ministry has also facilitated the allocation of ZW$240 million to targeted industries in the region.
“The Ministry has also facilitated the allocation of $240 million to the Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe (IDCZ) for targeted industrial financing which will benefit infant and distressed companies in the region,” said Nzenza.
As part of the strategies to revive industries in the city, Nzenza said her ministry has also been spearheading the implementation of the AFDB beef-to-leather pilot projects in Matabeleland North.
“The Matabeleland provinces are endowed with vast cattle, goats and sheep, thereby presenting vast opportunities in the beef to leather value chain. The ministry has been spearheading the implementation of the AFDB Beef to Leather Pilot Project in Matabeleland North,” said the minister.
She hailed several Matabeleland based companies which he said have engaged in export initiatives in Namibia and Zambia.
“Productivity and export development is key in realising the country’s foreign currency generation potential.
“I am pleased to note that a number of companies in the Matabeleland region have engaged in export initiatives targeting countries such as Namibia and Zambia. I therefore urge companies to continue exploring production of products with export potential,” the minister said.
Nzenza added that her ministry was currently developing a National Quality Policy which will guide exporters.
She stressed that in order for local exporters to remain competitive on the global market, their products should be of good quality.
The breakfast meeting was attended by various stakeholders which included representatives of Confederations of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI), Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) and Bulawayo City Council.