The Sunday News
Judith Phiri, Business Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Special Economic Zones Authority (ZimSeza) is working on granting part of Bulawayo’s industrial sites SEZ status as part of its efforts to re-industrialise and improve the economy of the country’s second largest city.
ZimSeza Mr Edwin Kondo said the authority was working on granting SEZ status industrial sites that were identified by the Bulawayo SEZ technical working committee.
“We have identified available sector space and currently working towards granting some Bulawayo industrial sites, SEZ status. We have cited Belmont, Donnington, Thorngrove, Steeldale and Westondale as potential SEZ industrial areas for Bulawayo. We have a close working relationship with the Bulawayo SEZ technical working committee, headed by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Enterprise Development (Bulawayo office) and comprised of representation from the Bulawayo City Council, Government departments, academia, parastatals and ZimTrade to recommend to ZimSeza to be considered for SEZ status,” said Mr Kondo.
The technical working committee is also expected to provide the authority with a Master Plan for Bulawayo.
He said ZimSeza was looking forward to setting up an office in Bulawayo including in all the areas to be designated as SEZ but hinted that the authority was constrained by outstanding regulations and funding to carry out such an initiative.
“Currently, we are going through the formation stages of the authority, putting systems and procedures in place, gazetting of incentive packages, dealing with staffing issues and approval of regulations.
The authority is almost ready to “roll”, just finalising the processes. We await approval and gazetting of regulations, which we are reliably informed should be done anytime soon. We are still finding our feet, and a lot of studies are currently underway with the technical committee leading the way. We intend soon to complete an analysis of the findings to come up with approximate expenses to set up the ZimSeza office in Bulawayo,” said Mr Kondo.
He also said it was worth noting that every area in the country had potential of being granted SEZ status, depending on its economic advantage.
“In regard to location of Special Economic Zones and designations, we are happy to share that every inch of Zimbabwe can be a SEZ. In light of that, ZimSeza will also have regional offices and representations throughout the country to facilitate quick actioning of applications for licences and other streamlining operational activities, the offices will be opened in phases as and when the need arises,” said Mr Kondo.