Government Instrument Fails to Boost Industrial Production

Government Instrument Fails to Boost Industrial Production
Image Credit: Chronicle- Minister Mike Bimha on industrial tour in Bulawayo

A statutory instrument that was meant to to increase industrial production faced challenges to serve its purpose.

Statutory Instrument 64 (S.I.64) which was promulgated in 2016 to vulnerable firms against imports was hamstrung by outdated technology according to OK Zimbabwe Limited Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Alex Siyavora.

“Despite the introduction of S.I. 64 to limit imports and encourage local manufacture of certain products, the production and supply of goods is still hamstrung by outdated technology, lack and cost of capital as well as the state and cost of utilities,” Siyavora said in a 2018 annual report.

“Imports therefore continue to be necessary to meet demand, and South Africa remains the main source of imported goods”

Special Advisor to the President, Chris Mutsvangwa is on record calling for the scratching off of S.I. 64.

Mutsvangwa says this as the government has been moving with the mantra “Zimbabwe is open for business”.

“I do not want to be emotive, if we want to make progress scratch section 64 (Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016), lower the cost of food to the consumers by importing as much from South Africa, open up Belmount and Graniteside as Special Economic Zones, get new equipment, get everyone employed, start exporting Nike quality shoes to the global market from Zimbabwe (for an example), and you will never be poor again in Zimbabwe,”  Mutsvangwa is quoted in a local media.

The Presidential Advisor said improving the country’s stature involved improving bilateral ties such as reducing the cost of goods and allowing for cheaper goods to come into the country.

“Direct imports have however reduced as goods can only be brought into the country on import permits and licences issued to specific individuals and companies, and this has re-introduced the middleman,” Siyavora says.

“Where import permit are issued, the shortage of foreign currency is affecting the timely flow of imported goods.”

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