Govt to privatise 11 parastatals
AT least 11 State-owned enterprises will be privatised under the Government’s public enterprises reform framework for 2018-2020 while some will be liquidated, merged or departmentalised.
The measures are contained in the new Government blue-print, the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) that was presented by Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube, on Friday. The Minister said reforming the State-owned enterprise sector was part of the short to medium term reform framework whose implementation is already underway.
“Government will expedite the implementation of the Cabinet decision on restructuring, partial or full privatisation of entities. The reform measures for immediate implementation over the period 2018-2020 target the privatisation of 11 State-owned enterprises, six IDC subsidiaries, and 17 ZMDC subsidiaries,” said Prof Ncube.
Without providing names, he said two Stateowned enterprises and three IDC subsidiaries will be liquidated while 11 entities will be merged and seven departmentalised into line ministries. The minister also announced a dissolution of all subsidiary boards for Zesa Holdings. Going forward, he said, the Zimbabwe Power Company would be allowed to engage strategic partners for its power generation projects.
Other measures include de-merging the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) into a commercial business unit and the Strategic Grain Reserve, promulgation of the Civil Aviation Amendment Bill to provide for the unbundling of the authority into a regulator and an airports authority.
Minister Ncube said the reform framework was aimed at gaining quick wins from parastatals in line with long-standing objectives of bringing orderliness in their operations, restoring discipline and rationality, turning around their performances and improving on general service-delivery to contribute towards revival of Zimbabwe’s economic fortunes.
The tough decisions come on the back of reports that 70 percent of State-owned enterprises are technically insolvent after most of them incurred a combined $270 million losses, according to the Auditor General’s 2017 report.
Professor Ncube, however, said an institutional support for parastatal reform framework was being put in place to ensure deserving entities get funding under the $3,2 million grant from the African Development Bank.
He said the performance reviews will assess in detail the concerned State-owned enterprises’ governance system, financial, operational, legal environment, processes and procedures affecting them.
These entities include Agribank, Allied Timbers, SMEDCO, Zinara, SIRDC, and IDBZ. Minister Ncube said the European Union has also availed funding for the performance review of an additional three state-owned enterprises under the natural resource programme. These include the Forestry Commission, the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority and the Environmental Management Agency (EMA). Government has identified a further set for the performance reviews, namely CMED, ARDA, Printflow and Natpharm.