Prince Sunduzani, Business Reporter
STAKEHOLDERS in Bulawayo have advised the Government to prioritise key infrastructure development in the second phase of Zim-Asset so as to attract increased investment into the city.
This emerged during a Zim-Asset II provincial consultative workshop for Bulawayo Metropolitan province, hosted by the Ministry of Macro Economic Planning and Investment Promotion at a local hotel on Monday.
In their submissions participants who were drawn from diverse groupings said efforts to attract investment into the city should be supported by a robust infrastructure rehabilitation and development programme.
Key projects for the city include the rehabilitation of the Bulawayo Thermal Power Station, completion of the National University of Science and Technology (Nust), building of additional supply dams, solar energy, rehabilitation of roads, education infrastructure, operationalisation of Special Economic Zones, vocational training and urgent opening of Ekusileni Medical Centre.
In his address during the event Bulawayo provincial planning monitoring and evaluation committee chairperson, Mr Raymond Nyandoro, said the province was facing numerous challenges that were hindering development.
“We are facing delays in provision of land for construction activities, delays in financing for rehabilitation and refurbishment exercises resulting in delays in their commencement. If funding is not availed, planned projects and refurbishments projects for this year may never take off,” he said.
Mr Nyandoro said the province had aligned all provincial development activities and planning to the Zim-Asset.
He also said Bulawayo has created provincial clusters, replacing the traditional subcommittees and that ministry departments, NGOs and parastatals were put into different clusters according to their different mandates.
The meeting also revealed that the first phase of Zim-Asset, which expires next year had overlooked the development of other important projects in Bulawayo.
The gathering emphasised the need for Government to consider including the whole of Bulawayo industry in the Special Economic Zones model as opposed to limiting it to leather and textiles only.
Zim-Asset II is expected to build on the successes of the initial blueprint and deal with challenges encountered while seeking to tap into new opportunities.
Proposals have already been made to include a resource mobilisation cluster in Zim-Asset II.