BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) is set to showcase at South Africa’s annual Durban Business Fair as the local authority seeks to woo investment to the city once termed the industrial hub of the country.
Bulawayo has suffered de-industrialisation over the years as companies downsised operations, relocated or closed shop altogether as economic woes facing the country deepen.
A number of industrial premises have been taken up by churches.
In a bid to attract investment, the city will showcase at the Durban Business Fair to be held from September 22 to 29 after receiving an invite from eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality which runs the City of Durban.
The BCC has a twinning arrangement with eThekwini Municipality. The latter has also participated at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) on the invitation of the local authority.
“The Durban Business Fair programme allows for scheduled meetings, for example, business to business meetings with Durban Chamber of Commerce and to ensure that our industry and commerce was linked to Durban business, it was necessary that the City of Bulawayo delegation travelled with representatives from the Bulawayo Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries and the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce,” the council report read.
eThekwini Municipality, which is hosting the premier annual event, will provide exhibition space, accommodation, ground transportation and accreditation, among others, according to an invite sent to the BCC.
Bulawayo also has twinning arrangements with the cities of Aberdeen in Scotland, Katima Mulilo, Namibia and a memorandum of understanding with the City of Polokwane.
There have also been a number of discussions with the Chinese cities of Qingdao, Siping and Zhaoyuan Tangerang Selatan for twinning arrangements to attract investment.
Bulawayo is also mooting another twinning arrangement with the City of Francistown, Botswana, with preliminary talks said to have started in December last year.