Jobs fig­ures hit new high

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - FRONT PAGE - Brian Chitemba

ZIM­BABWE’s for­mal em­ploy­ment fig­ures have topped one mil­lion — the high­est ever in the coun­try’s his­tory — on the back of a raft of in­ter­ven­tions by Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa’s Gov­ern­ment to realign macro-eco­nomic fun­da­men­tals and stim­u­late growth and de­vel­op­ment.

Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa has set his sights on trans­form­ing Zim­babwe into an up­per mid­dle-in­come econ­omy by 2030.

In an in­ter­view yes­ter­day, CZI pres­i­dent Mr Sife­lani Ja­bangwe said there was in­creased ac­tiv­ity in man­u­fac­tur­ing, with sev­eral new com­pa­nies com­ing to the fore, while some ex­ist­ing ones had been re­vived.

“Things have changed for the bet­ter as com­pa­nies are em­ploy­ing a lot of peo­ple. We are com­pil­ing a fi­nal re­port on the sta­tis­tics on the em­ploy­ment fig­ures,” he said.

Em­ploy­ers’ Con­fed­er­a­tion of Zim­babwe chief ex­ec­u­tive Mr John Mu­fukari added that new jobs had largely been added in small and medium-sized en­ter­prises.

In his weekly col­umn in the The Sun­day Mail, Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa says sta­tis­tics from the Na­tional So­cial Se­cu­rity Author­ity showed a work­force of more than one mil­lion reg­is­tered em­ploy­ees.

“This is the high­est em­ploy­ment level ever in our coun­try, with strong prospects of more jobs com­ing in the fu­ture,” the Pres­i­dent says.

“At a re­cent meet­ing I had with the busi­ness com­mu­nity, the Con­fed­er­a­tion of Zim­babwe In­dus­tries cor­rob­o­rated this by re­port­ing that 800 000 jobs had been cre­ated so far.”

The Head of State and Gov­ern­ment adds that com­pa­nies like Zi­masco, Bin­dura Nickel Cor­po­ra­tion, Para­mount Gar­ments, Treger Hold­ings, Tan­ganda Tea Com­pany and Suzan Gen­eral Trad­ing have recorded a quan­tum leap in ex­ports.

“By Septem­ber this year, the value of our ex­ports stood at US$3,01 bil­lion, it­self an 18,1 per­cent in­crease from the US$2,55 bil­lion re­alised be­tween Jan­uary and Septem­ber last year.” The min­ing sec­tor has been the lead­ing light,

with gold out­put al­ready out­strip­ping the 24 tonnes pro­duced last year to reach 30 tonnes.

Gov­ern­ment ex­pects the fi­nal gold pro­duc­tion fig­ure for 2018 to be 34 tonnes.

Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa goes on: “To­bacco, too, made im­pres­sive gains. A record of 252,3 mil­lion kilo­grammes was de­liv­ered to our auc­tion floors, up from 190 mil­lion kilo­grammes de­liv­ered in 2017.

“This pos­i­tive trend shows we will soon break the cycli­cal short­age of for­eign ex­change which af­fects the econ­omy ev­ery year this time un­til the next to­bacco crop.”

Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa ex­plains that the high de­mand for for­eign cur­rency points to in­creased busi­ness ac­tiv­ity as in­dus­try, min­ing and agri­cul­ture de­mand more raw ma­te­ri­als and in­puts.

Some no­table projects un­der­way in­di­cat­ing re­vived eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity in­clude the Chi­nese-funded Hwange Power Sta­tion ex­pan­sion project and the huge tile man­u­fac­tur­ing en­ter­prise near Nor­ton.

How­ever, the Pres­i­dent says, de­spite these ad­vances, the pir­vate me­dia and the po­lit­i­cal op­po­si­tion wanted to paint a pic­ture of a coun­try at a stand still, in the process cre­at­ing a neg­a­tive coun­try risk that af­fected all cit­i­zens within the con­text of in­ter­na­tional trad­ing and lend­ing.

“Things have got to change, prin­ci­pally our at­ti­tude and our whole sense of re­spon­si­bil­ity to our coun­try and its prospects,” said Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa.

“It is, af­ter all, our only coun­try, mean­ing our for­tunes or mis­for­tunes ebb and flow with how well it is per­ceived by and in the wider world.”

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