COMPANIES will, by next year, be forced to turn to local firms to procure all their needs as government moves to ramp up local production.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
Presenting the State of Industry on Wednesday, Industry and Commerce minister Mike Bimha, said his ministry was in the process of developing a policy which will force major companies to procure locally.
He said the policy will be introduced to support and reinforce gains made during the introduction of the highly-unpopular Statutory Instrument 64 which saw government suspending a number of products from the Open General Import licence.
“Government through my ministry is also developing a local content policy aimed at maximising local procurement and preferences given to local companies as an opportunity to localise supply chains,” Bimha said.
The policy will augment the already existing procurement laws in the country and will stem instances where investors have brought in their own supplies from their countries of origin.
Market players have been expressing concern particularly over big conglomerates that have been heavily reliant on imports, shunning local products.
General Beltings in Bulawayo said it was facing viability problems because big mining companies operating in the country preferred to import instead of sourcing products locally.
Bimha said his ministry had engaged the private sector which had provided input on how to revamp the local manufacturing industry, particularly as contained in three sectors which include ownership of the businesses, procurement and beneficiation.
He said government was also ready to assist companies with capital for retooling, saying although they did not have a set figure, government through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe will coordinate the financing.
“We call on the companies that are interested in retooling to come and see us. We do not have a set figure in the kit, but our approach will be targeted and will be co-ordinated by the RBZ,” Bimha said.
He said 2017 will be a better year for the manufacturing industry because government had improved the ease of doing business and also clarified the murky Indigenisation Act.