25 June 2012

Zimbabwe: Levy Boost for Engineers

The Ministry of Public Works has given the Engineering Council of Zimbabwe (ECZ) the nod to collect a 1 percent levy from all engineering projects in the country, which will boost the coffers of the Engineering Capacity Building Fund.

The money collected into the fund is expected to boost for the operations of the newly re-constituted ECZ.

The ECZ is the overseer body for the engineering industry in Zimbabwe; however, its operations have been constrained by lack of adequate funding.

ECZ chairman Engineer Martin Manuhwa said the fund would assist the organisation in extending its national reach.

"We need structures in each province that comprises inspectorate teams with vehicles and office space and other logistical support.

"In this respect, the Ministry of Public Works has approved an Engineering Capacity Building Fund.

"This fund, which will be drawn from a 1 percent levy on the engineering value of all projects costs, will be the seed money to ensure a sound rollout of the regulatory regime of the ECZ," he said.

He was speaking at an ECZ-organised stakeholders' engagement meeting. Approval of the Engineering Capacity Building Fund follows the recent re-constitution of the ECZ's Council by Public Works Minister Joel Gabuza Gabbuza.

The new council came into office on May 1 and its tenure will run until April 2014.

Its members are Eng Dawson Mareya, Eng Alban Nyakurimwa, Eng Albert Muyambo, Eng Wingfield Vengesayi, Eng Daniel Ncube, Eng Quinton Kanhukamwe, Eng Henry Hungwe, Dr Michael Tumbare, Eng Theodius Chinyanga Mrs Priscilla Lubombo and Mr David Manyathela.

Council chairman Eng Manuhwa is deputised by Eng Farai Mavhiya, while Eng Ben Rafemoyo heads the secretariat team.

Speaking at the same event, Public Works Deputy Minister Senator Guy Georgias urged the private sector to assist in capacitating the ECZ in view of constrained fiscal resources.

"Government is painfully aware of the challenges faced by the council in discharging its mandate without the basic resources.

"Ordinarily such statutory bodies would be allocated a grant at least to get the new entity become functional. This has not been the case with ECZ due to the financial challenges faced by Treasury.

"The private sector and in particular engineering related companies are therefore challenged to partner with Government in capacitating this critical statutory body," he said.

The council said it is now close to enforcing the Engineering Council (General) Regulations of 2010 in respect of engineers and firms that are yet to regularise their operations.

Every engineer or engineering firm operating in the country, whether local or foreign, are required to be registered by the ECZ failure of which non-compliant parties will have their licences revoked.

The Engineering Council (General) Regulations of 2010 were promulgated so as to fully operationalise the Engineering Council of Zimbabwe Act (Chapter 27:22).

In terms of the Act, every engineer or firm that is registered under the ECZ is required to pay an annual licensing fee to the council, which will also supplement the Engineering Capacity Building Fund.

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