Redcliff Municipality should start looking for alternative ways to raise money than to continue blaming its viability challenges on the demise of Ziscosteel, the Minister of State for Midlands Provincial Affairs, Senator Larry Mavima, has said.
The economy of Redcliff town revolved around the defunct steel giant, which used to employ over 2 500 people, most of them from the town.
The company, however, closed shop in 2007 at the height of economic challenges and since then, Redcliff has been slowly turning into a ghost town and is virtually reliant on Kwekwe City for its water supplies.
Speaking to Redcliff Municipality management and councillors at Town House yesterday, Sen Mavima said Redcliff should take advantage of the implementation of devolution by the New Dispensation to pick themselves up.
"The New Dispensation has implemented devolution which (late) former president (Robert) Mugabe failed to implement despite it being in the Constitution since 2013.
"We are saying as Redcliff management, councillors and everyone involved, we should not continue mourning about the demise of Ziscosteel.
"Yes, they owe you money but can we not continue looking up to them. Think outside the box, what else can we bring in, what else can we do to revive our economy as Redcliff Municipality," he said.
Sen Mavima said councillors should work hand-in-hand with municipality management to come up with sound projects that will make the council grow.
"President Mnangagwa has a clear vision. We are now all aware of the Vision 2030. This vision started with the implementation of devolution, where as local authorities, we now have to work towards the development of your communities using devolution funds. You don't have to continue crying about the money that Zisco owes you, the crop of councillors and administration should take advantage of devolution to leave a legacy," he said.
Senator Mavima said council management should quickly line up priority projects after receiving devolution funds so that the money does not lose value while sitting in a bank account.
"The new dispensation inherited an economy that was not stable and this is why President Mnangagwa introduced the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSPs). What this means is that when local authorities receive their devolution allocation, they should quickly utilise those funds than spending time arguing on which projects to take up. They should quickly utilise those funds before it is eroded by inflation," he said.