THE government is repositioning the Industrial Development Co-operation (IDC), so that it can revert to its original purpose of spearheading Zimbabwe’s industrialisation instead of concentrating on rescuing distressed companies, Industry and Commerce minister Mike Bimha has said.
By Nokuthaba Dlamini
Bimha told NewsDay on the sidelines of the just-ended Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) annual general meeting in Victoria Falls that discussions with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe were underway to reposition the co-operation.
“IDC has got a mandate in terms of the act but unfortunately, it has not been doing what it’s supposed to do because of other pressures in the past,” he said.
“So what has been happening is that, it was more of managing portfolio . . . managing a lot of companies under it and in the process some of them made loses and it was difficult for IDC to turn them around.
“Therefore, Cabinet accepted our recommendations that we transform IDC, so that it ceases to be a holding company of a number of companies and focus on industrial development.”
Bimha said the government wanted a model similar to that of South Africa’s Industrial Development Co-operation (IDC)
“If you look at South African IDC, you will find out that it is serving its rightful purpose funding industries and supporting them to ensure that they succeed and that’s a new area that we would want IDC to focus on and its going to be exciting because that’s what we want to see,” the minister added.
“So that we have a body and entity which is there to make sure that we industrialise.”
However, Bimha said the government would not prescribe to IDC what projects it should pursue.
He said repositioning the IDC would ensure that money that is allocated to industrial development is properly utilised.
IDC is a self-financing, national Development Finance Institution (DFI) established in 1963.
Zimbabwe has suffered from massive de-industrialisation in the past two decades due to a number of factors, with Bulawayo which was once the country’s industrial hub the worst affected.