GOVERNMENT is crafting a new statutory instrument compelling both public and private sector firms to source at least 50 % of their supplies locally, Indigenisation and Empowerment minister Saviour Kasukuwere has said.
Report by Tarisai Mandizha
Speaking at the Buy Zimbabwe procurement conference in Harare yesterday, Kasukuwere said companies should comply with the stipulated procurement regulations, in which local firms should be granted at least 50% contracts on procurement deals.
Buy Zimbabwe is a local initiative promoting the production and consumption of local brands.
Kasukuwere said the public tender system was currently skewed in favour of foreign-owned firms, threatening the survival of local companies.
“We will have a statutory instrument to enforce the 50% local procurement, 50% must be procured from companies which are controlled by indigenous Zimbabweans,” Kasukuwere said.
“It has always been there, so what we want is to insist that it is followed to support local procurement.
“With greater understanding that local ownership is pivotal to our economic growth and prosperity, the time has now come for public and private companies to put in place policies and programmes that give preference to our local suppliers and manufacturers.”
The proposed law would add to the several statutory instruments crafted in recent times by Kasukuwere’s ministry as the government stepped-up the indigenisation and empowerment regulations ahead of the forthcoming general elections.
The empowerment policy compels foreign firms operating in Zimbabwe to surrender controlling stakes to locals.
He said currently, the government was in the process of consolidating various outstanding agreements concerning the indigenisation programme.
Kasukuwere said developed economies like South Africa and Australia have mandatory local procurement quotas.
He said the new law could help the cash-starved country save millions of dollars in inports.
Official statistics showed that the country’s import bill last year stood at $8,2 billion almost trebling exports.
He said the huge import bill has paralysed the local motor industry and the pharmaceuticals sector, which at peak directly and indirectly employed over 100 000 people.