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Zanu-PF takes indigenisation to people

by Staff reporter
11 May 2021 at 06:34hrs | Views
Zanu-PF is set to launch a nationwide programme to educate the public and businesses on the revised Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act to ensure the inclusion of everyone in the country's economic development and its ownership.

This is in line with the country's new economic thrust which saw the removal of the 51/49 company shareholding structure from the Empowerment Act as it was felt that it was not really in line with Zimbabwe being Open for Business in terms of attracting investment.

The ruling party's Secretary for Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Dr Mike Bimha said after receiving inquiries on the new policy documents they decided to embark on a national blitz to educate the public. This follows a recent visit to the country's industrial hub, Bulawayo, by the Zanu-PF team where they met with various stakeholders.

"There has been a call by various players who were in Bulawayo saying come to our areas so that we can also participate fully and that we can also be able to interact. We are now considering moving to other areas. We are now going to Manicaland, Midlands Province, Victoria Falls, and other provinces.

"We want to make sure we avail ourselves to those areas, and that we give our business people the platform to participate. All stakeholders must be involved in the roll out plan. We don't want to leave anyone behind," he said.

He also cleared the air on the reserved sectors for locals saying local authorities should issue business licenses in the selected sectors to locals only.  

The reserved sectors are transportation, such as car hire services, taxies, retail and wholesale trade, barbershops, hairdressing and beauty salons, employment and advertising agencies, grain milling, bakeries, tobacco grading and packaging, provision of local arts and crafts, and artisanal mining. Foreign entities already in the reserved sectors, Dr Bimha said, will only be allowed, if they are funding local production.

"When you have a foreign player, then there has to be a demonstration that you are in the process of assisting in terms of local production. This is an area where we feel there is room for improvement and we want to make sure that there is compliance.

"As a party, our biggest role is now to evaluate the implementation of what is contained in that policy and to bring to the fore where we see non-compliance for example reserved sectors. We have reserved sectors where we are saying these sectors are only locals. We want local authorities to make sure that they give licenses to our local people, which probably has not been happening to the degree that we want".  

The department of Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment in 2019 started a consultative process in its formulation of the revised policy.

"While we have done away with the 51/49 threshold, we still encourage corporates to consider giving shareholding to locals. There are still free to come and say we would want to go into joint ventures to give our locals some shareholding in their companies. They are still free with only that we are now not legislating that. We would encourage them to do so".

"We are also talking about social responsibility programmes, where they will be involved in developmental projects in areas they are operating in," he said.  

The country's empowerment programme is meant to benefit all stakeholders be it in mining, agriculture, infrastructure development and manufacturing sectors or in retail and wholesale.

Source - Reuters.

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