THE Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) has urged local and government authorities to streamline regulatory charges as a way of cutting down the cost of doing business and encourage investment inflows into the country.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
Addressing captains of industry recently in Bulawayo at a round table meeting, CZI president Busisa Moyo said Zimbabwe was heavily regulated with more charges being imposed on businesses, thereby killing the spirit of enterprising.
These included charges to the Environmental Management Agency (EMA), the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) and local authorities.
“That’s too much. We are far regulated and we need to pull up people to do business. Business is about freedom. Freedom to do enterprise,” Moyo said.
Moyo said government needed to intervene and streamline these charges for the sake of economic growth.
“We need ease of doing business attended to. City councils [should] streamline [their] charges. One charge for council and one charge for a State and that’s it,” Moyo said.
In 2014, CZI released the results of a study of three manufacturing sectors — timber/furniture, chemicals and pharmaceutical — to assess the process required and the costs that firms have to bear in complying with regulations, showing that companies were struggling to pay the fees. These included charges to EMA, NSSA and local authorities.
EMA charges 1,5% of project cost for an environmental impact assessment. It was also accused of requiring a multiplicity of licences and many administrative processes which frustrated industry players.
According to the CZI study then, NSSA demanded between $100 and $300 for registration of factories and about $200 for registration of an elevator or escalator.
Companies were also made to pay between $100 and $1 800 for a boiler, depending on size.
Inspection fees for elevators and escalators are charged at $1 000 each, while inspection fees for boilers range from $50 to $600 depending on size.
The pharmaceutical sector registration fees were as high as $6 000, while fertiliser producers were charged as high as $10 000 by the radiation authority and timber traders’ licences cost $100.