The Sunday News
Judith Phiri, Business Reporter
THE National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) has achieved a number of set targets as witnessed in the fourth quarter of 2022, with a number of achievements recorded in a number of sectors.
The sectors include mining, food and nutrition security, digital economy, housing delivery, human capital development and innovation.
Speaking during a post-Cabinet media briefing, Acting Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Jenfan Muswere, said Cabinet received and adopted the NDS1 performance report for the fourth quarter of 2022, which was presented by Professor Mthuli Ncube, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development.
NDS1 was launched in October 2020 with implementation having commenced in 2021, under the 14 Thematic Working Groups (TWG) that were created to drive the programme and achieve set targets.
“Under the Economic Growth and Stability TWG, the nation is being informed that the NDS1 target for inflation in the fourth quarter of 2022 was 26.3 percent. Government tightened the monetary and fiscal policy stance, maintained Central Bank accommodation rates at 200 percent and ordered a review of public procurement process to ensure value for money payments to contractors,” said Minister Muswere.
“The budget deficit declined from an NDS1 target of 1.65 percent to 0.9 percent, reflecting conformity with the SADC Macro-Economic Convergence Criterion of fiscal deficits below three percent.”
He said at the centre of inclusive growth during the fourth quarter of 2022, the mining sector grew by 10 percent in 2022.
This was driven by higher international mineral prices, the resuscitation of closed mines and expansion and opening of new mines.
“Gold production in 2022 improved to 36 tonnes, from 31.5 tonnes in 2021, construction of Gold Service Centres such as Makaha in Mutoko made significant progress and the manufacturing sector grew to 66 percent, surpassing the year’s target of 65 percent.”
The Minister said under the food and nutrition security TWG, milk production was boosted by the increase in the dairy herd from 22 000 to 38 000.
He said in the water sub-sector, the Government procured additional rigs and drilled 437 boreholes, surpassing the fourth-quarter target of 240 boreholes.
Under the infrastructural and utilities TWG, Minister Muswere said: “A cumulative 400 kilometres of the Harare-Masvingo-Beitbridge Highway was upgraded and opened to traffic and as many as 19 airlines were flying into Zimbabwe by the end of 2022.”
He said under the digital economy TWG, the broadband penetration target of 60 percent was exceeded by 0.8 percent, while internet speeds increased in line with technological advancements.
The Minister said Cabinet was also informed that the geographic broadband network coverage exceeded the 70.61 percent target and reached 70.68 percent, while the provision of localities with Public Internet Access Centres exceeded the targeted eight percent and reached 12.8 percent.
“The proportion of Central Government organisations with a web presence reached 100 percent, exceeding the planned 59 percent quarterly target. A survey will be undertaken to establish the functionality of the websites.”
He said on housing delivery, financiers and other stakeholders were preparing to commence preliminary works on the Smart Cities pilot projects for Melfort, Figtree and Chirundu.
While, 77.5 percent households were now accessing clean and safe water and 63.8 hectares was allocated for the settlements densification programme.