Special Economic Zones now operational

GOVERNMENT has passed a statutory instrument on Special Economic Zones (SEZs), which effectively brings them into full operation.

BY MTHANDAZO NYONI

Statutory Instrument (SI) 154 of 2018 was gazetted on August 17, 2018.

The gazette stipulated the fees for every application for a developer, operator or investment, permit or licence.

“Every fee shall be paid together with every application for a developer, operator or investment, permit or licence — If an application is rejected the authority shall refund the fee to the applicant in full no later than five working days after the rejection is notified to the applicant,” the gazette stated.

The fee for a developer’s permit is $3 000 per annum, operator’s licence $3 000 per annum, and investor’s licence $1 000 per annum.

“Every licence and permit shall be authenticated by the signature of the chairperson of the SEZ board or chief executive officer of the authority,” the gazette also said.

In June last year, government appointed the board of the Zimbabwe Special Economic Zones Authority (ZimSeza), chaired by former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono.

The gazette laid down the conditions for licensees and developers.

A licensee should not sell more than 20% of its annual production into the customs territory without the prior written consent of the authority. The licensee is also subject to all national laws enacted for the protection of public health, national security, public safety, labour standards, occupational health and safety, environmental protection and consumer protection.

The gazette said developers in a SEZ should comply with legal obligations in addition to those provided under the SEZ licence and the developer agreement.


Developers refer to companies involved in the construction of infrastructure and assets on SEZ land, including on-site infrastructure, transportation connections, employee quarters, office space and other facilities to be used by the administrative facilitation service and the national customs authorities.

The construction should adhere to international standards and the applicable SEZ licence or development agreement and to the performance requirements as set out in the memorandum for the SEZ as specified in the developer’s and operator’s agreement.

Government has indicated desire for SEZ status for Sunway City in Msasa/Ruwa, Victoria Falls, Bulawayo, Mutare and Norton.

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