GOVT GAZETTES FIVE SEZS
GOVERNMENT has gazetted five areas in the country that have been designated as Special Economic Zones (SEZs) with more expected to be identified soon in a move aimed at promoting industrialisation and boosting the country’s economy, an official has said.
Speaking during a recent Matabeleland South provincial stakeholders meeting in Gwanda, Zimbabwe Special Economic Zones Authority (Zimseza) technical head, Mr Wilfred Motsi, said Beitbridge Town in Matabeleland South, Bulawayo, Victoria Falls, Sunway City in Harare and Fern Hill in Mutare were gazetted as Special Economic Zones in September. Masvingo’s Tugwi Mukosi has also been identified as a SEZ.
He further said 106 hectares of land has been gazetted in Beitbridge and urged stakeholders to identify two more districts within the province.
“Special Economic Zones were gazetted in five areas in September in a move that is meant to bring economic development in the country. Our aim is to establish SEZs where export and other related industrial activities will take place and then also attract investors in those SEZs,” said Mr Motsi.
“We want to ensure that the country realises an increased flow of foreign currency and local investment, employment opportunities, increased investments and exports, SMEs linkages and value addition. As Zimseza we are calling for industrialisation in the country.”
Mr Motsi said the purpose of their visit to Matabeleland South was to facilitate formulation of an action plan.
“We are in Matabeleland South province to help formulate and implement an action plan for the Beitbridge SEZ. At the moment we are holding stakeholder consultation meetings. From here we will formulate an action plan, conduct a feasibility study and develop a concept master plan, which will be followed by a detailed actual master plan. Once the master plan is there we will produce a document that we will use to attract developers and investors,” he said.
“As Zimseza we are the technical partner while stakeholders in the province are the custodians or owners of the zone. Beitbridge is a strategic town to have a SEZ as it’s a border town. Musina in South Africa has a SEZ and we also want to have that competitive advantage to bring in investors.”
Mr Motsi said they had received inquiries from a number of potential investors wishing to invest in the Beitbridge SEZ. He said development of the Beitbridge SEZ was expected to start early next year. Mr Motsi said investment opportunities in Beitbridge included construction of a world class international airport, coal, gold and diamond mining as well as processing, class manufacturing, citrus fruit processing and bonded warehouses construction among others. Speaking during the same meeting, Matabeleland South Minister of State for Provincial Affairs, Abednico Ncube, urged stakeholders to play an active part in order to make the SEZs a success.
“This concept requires a multi stakeholder approach in order to be successful. We have to sell our province and its economic opportunities in the best way possible in order to attract investors. This initiative will create employment and bring huge development to the province,” he said.
“With the concept of devolution of power coming into effect, we have the responsibility of developing our own area. This development isn’t only for Beitbridge or the other districts that will be identified as SEZs but it will spread throughout the province.”
Beitbridge Town secretary, Mr Loud Ramakgapola, said the Beitbridge SEZ was an initiative that would go a long way towards developing the border town. The SEZs Act was signed into law in October 2016 while the Zimseza board of directors was appointed in June 2017. Zimseza’s vision is for the country to have a vibrant middle income economy by 2030 with SEZs playing a key role. — @DubeMatutu