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Industry taskforce misses deadline

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An inter-ministerial taskforce committee set up by government to probe factors promoting de-industrialisation of Bulawayo says it still has to consult affected companies’ headquarters in Harare before presenting its findings to Cabinet.

Committee chairperson, Welshman Ncube, who is also Industry and Commerce minister, told NewsDay at the weekend that after compiling their draft report, they later realised they needed to consult affected companies’ parent offices in the capital.

“We haven’t reported, we have a draft report. We didn’t meet the deadline. We then decided, after we looked at it that it was important to talk to the headquarters of the companies in Harare. When we were writing the report, we noted that it would be incomplete unless we spoke to the parent companies in Harare,” he said.

The committee was expected to present its findings to Cabinet last Tuesday.

Bulawayo has reportedly lost 87 companies either through collapse or relocation to other cities, leaving about 20 000 people jobless.

Most people in the city have blamed the relocation of industries on Harare’s stranglehold on the Zimbabwean economy.

Two months ago, government was seized with the development and set up a ministerial taskforce to rescue the country’s former industrial hub and second-biggest city.

The taskforce is made up of Ncube; Water Resources Development and Management minister Samuel Sipepa Nkomo; Finance minister Tendai Biti; Small and Medium Enterprise Development minister Sithembiso Nyoni; Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment minister Saviour Kasukuwere; Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development minister Joseph Made; Labour and Social Welfare minister Pauline Mpariwa; and Economic Planning minister Tapiwa Mashakada.
Ncube said they hoped to finalise the report this month-end.

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