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Mohadi assesses state of Bulawayo firms

by Staff Reporter
10 Mar 2018 at 07:44hrs | Views
VICE President Kembo Mohadi has pledged to engage the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and foreign investors to revive Bulawayo industries.

The VP yesterday visited some companies in Bulawayo for an assessment and to come up with strategies to revive them.

He went to the Tshova Mubayiwa terminus in Belmont where Arckrock Trading is planning to construct a state of the art terminus, Pump and Steel Supplies and Zapalala Milling plant.

Speaking after the tour, VP Mohadi said there was a lot of potential for Bulawayo to regain its status as the country's industrial hub.

"The situation is not good given the fact that most industries are operating below capacity. There's capacity underutilisation because our companies don't have credit facilities and support from the central bank.

"Pump and Steel Supplies is doing fairly well and they have gone a long way in achieving import substitution. I think the RBZ should be coming on board to assist them. I'll try to engage the RBZ to see to it that our companies are supported," he said. VP Mohadi said he would be happy if the companies were operating at least at 50 percent as this would assist in absorbing a lot of workers.

"Right now Pump and Steel Supplies only has 350 workers but they could be having more if they were operating at 50 percent and above," he said.

VP Mohadi said there was an insatiable demand for the company's products but it was failing to meet demand due to lack of financial support.

"Generally the few companies that are still operating in Bulawayo are operating below capacity. With the new dispensation, our aim is to resuscitate Bulawayo companies.

"If they could come forward we would assist them to get Foreign Direct Investment or foreign capital so that they're revitalised. I'm sure we all recall that Bulawayo was the country's industrial hub," said VP Mohadi.

He said he was impressed by the idea of a terminus to be built in Belmont, saying it would help decongest the city centre, where most commuter omnibuses rank.

"I was impressed by the idea of the new bus terminus in Belmont. They have good plans and we'll do what we can to assist them achieve their dream.

"A lot of people used to move from all over the country to come and work in Bulawayo because of the industrialisation that was taking place. We want to see that happen again," said VP Mohadi.

On the Zapalala milling plant, VP Mohadi said it has potential to grow.

He said the people of Bulawayo can do better if given a chance to develop the city and revive the economy.

"I have received quite a lot of inquiries from investors who want to invest in the country. I've asked most of them to come to Bulawayo. The response we're getting from the international community is positive given the fact that we've now moved away from the 51/49 percent Indigenisation policy.

"It will be between the investor and the local company to agree on how best they can do their business. It's only in the mining sector where we have restricted the 51/49 percent policy to two minerals.

"This is because we want to turn around the economy as quickly as possible," said VP Mohadi.

"Bulawayo is one of the cities that are earmarked for Special Economic Zones and it's situated where it easily connects with the whole of SADC and Central Africa by rail and road. This is another way of promoting industries and luring investors to invest in Bulawayo."

Source - Chronicle