Zimbabwe: Local Contractors Save Forex

28 January 2021

Business Reporter

The decision by Government to contract local companies in infrastructure development projects is saving the country's scarce foreign currency resources.

Acting President Constantino Chiwenga, said this during the historic triple burial of national heroes at the national shrine in Harare yesterday.

The Acting President said this in reference to the role played by the late Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development, Dr Joel Biggie Matiza, in the development of the country especially in the road infrastructure sector.

Zimbabwe is currently on an accelerated widening and modernisation of the Beitbridge to Harare and Harare to Chirundu highways which are strategic gateway to the continent from South Africa.

The widening and modernisation exercise has seen local companies being contracted as opposed to the previous trend of favouring foreign companies in such huge capital projects.

Some of the international companies did not have capacity to mobilise funding and relied on outsourcing key works, resulting in the country pumping out millions in scarce foreign currency.

It is against this background, as noted by the Acting President, that the contracted companies have gotten the much needed capitalisation, created local employment and saved the country millions.

"As Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development, he conceived and conceptualised the modernisation of road, rail and air connectivity along the North-South corridor with Zimbabwe as the hub," said Acting President Chiwenga.

"As a passion proponent of economic empowerment, Cde Matiza was instrumental in promoting the construction of infrastructure projects by local companies.

". . . the development not only capacitated the local companies but also created numerous jobs and saved the country's scarce foreign currency resources," he said.

The improvement and modernisation of road infrastructure, is a key component of rapid economic growth towards President Mnangagwa's Vision 2030 of attaining an upper middle income economy.

It is also clearly laid out in the country's economic development blueprint, the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1 - 2021 to 2025).

Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube is also on record saying a major and modern road has the potential to create an economy along its span. Expectation, therefore is that people living along the developed road network will capitalise on increased traffic to boost their economic participation.

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