The Sunday News
Njabulo Bhebe, Business Reporter
THE Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) is working with Government to formulate a database of all players operating in the country’s reserved sectors in a move aimed at formalising the businesses and their contribution to the economy.
CZR president Mr Denford Mutashu said the organisation in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce has embarked on a registration exercise aimed at registering all players operating in reserved sectors.
“CZR and Government have partnered to register all businesses in the retail and wholesale sectors, a drive aimed at coming up with a robust database for the reserved sectors that will assist on policy formalisation and implementation while addressing the informalisation quagmire. The exercise has started in earnest and CRZ officers are visiting all areas with registration forms generated by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce,” he said.
The reserved sectors are agriculture (primary production of food and cash crops), transportation, retail and wholesale trade, barbershops, hairdressing and beauty salons, employment and estate agencies and grain milling as well as bakeries, tobacco grading and packaging, tobacco processing, advertising agencies, milk processing and provision of local arts and crafts, marketing and distribution.
The database is set to keep track on all players in the reserved sector at the same time giving Government an insight on how locals are benefiting from the indigenous orientated programme and issues of non-compliance will be easily tracked.
“This move will enable Government to check compliance by players in the reserved sector to the indigenisation and economic empowerment requirements as it seeks to establish ownership structures of players in these sectors. The law stipulates that reserved sectors are set aside for Zimbabweans and this covers sectors like retail and wholesale, salons, barber shops and estate agencies, which we intend to uphold through the establishment of this database,” said Mr Mutashu.
Bulawayo Chamber of Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) chairperson Mr Energy Majazi said the registration of businesses in the reserved sector was a noble idea but hinted that there was a need for Government and parastatals to contribute the biggest chunk of procurement so as to promote the local companies.
“If the registration process succeeds, in our part as SMEs, we are only hoping that all the products produced would be procured by the Government. The Government must be the major purchaser of whatever product is made, be it in the mining and farming sector, Government should become the major consumer of such products so as to encourage producers to keep on producing. The reserved sector plays a pivotal role in the economy because it creates job opportunities for locals,” he said.