Oliver Kazunga, Senior Reporter
GOVERNMENT will this year accelerate financing of infrastructure development projects in Matabeleland North to improve the socio-economic well-being of the people in line with the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP).
Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube said this during an all-stakeholder outreach engagement held at Lupane Business Centre to apprise locals on the progress Government has so far made in implementing the TSP.
The TSP, which was launched by Government in October 2018 and runs up to the end of this year seeks to stimulate domestic production, exports, rebuilding and transforming the economy to an upper middle-income economy by 2030.
Addressing stakeholders after touring Lupane State University complex, Lupane Provincial Hospital construction site and Elitsheni Government Complex, Prof Ncube said under the TSP, focus is on improving social services.
“Some of the infrastructure development projects that I have just toured this morning are the Lupane Provincial Hospital construction site, Elitsheni Government Complex and Lupane State University complex where construction is also taking place.
“And our aim as Government is to make sure that under the TSP, we accelerate the financing of capital projects here in Lupane and Matabeleland North at large,” he said.
Others, capital expenditure projects that Government is spearheading in Matabeleland North include the Gwayi-Shangani Dam, Lupane-Nkayi road and Tsholotsho-Lupane road.
In the 2020, national budget some of the infrastructure projects that Government allocated funding are Lupane Provincial Hospital ($56 million), Lupane-Nkayi road ($56 million), Tsholotsho-Lupane road ($70 million), and Nkayi-Lupane Sheverts road ($70 million).
“Gwayi-Shangani Dam construction project requires $1 billion but this year we allocated $400 million towards the project but we will ensure that very soon we disburse $270 million to fast track the main dam and spillway construction. We want to fast track the project so that we have water for domestic use and irrigation here in Lupane and Bulawayo.
“So, the lot of infrastructure that we are targeting is part of the President’s Vision 2030 through the Transitional Stabilisation Programme,” he said.
Prof Ncube said while he made commitment to move with speed in financing capital projects in Matabeleland North, the locals need to come up with their own income-generating projects, which would be funded by Government using part of the resources from the devolution concept.
“We are also spearheading the devolution concept across all the country’s provinces and through this programme, the Government needs to see the locals in their respective areas embarking on income-generating projects.
“This year we have set aside $3 billion for devolution for all the provinces. Apart from supporting the capital expenditure projects using the devolution resources, we exhort the locals to come up with income generating projects,” he said.
Prof Ncube noted that Government was doing all it can to cushion ordinary citizens from the economic challenges the country is reeling under.
Such initiatives include the introduction of subsidised public transport system as well as mealie meal.
“We have introduced the Zupco buses at subsidised fares and we started this public transport system in urban areas and we are now moving into the rural areas.
“In rural areas, the subsidised public transport system will be plying for example from Bulawayo coming here to Lupane going as far as Hwange.
“As Government, we are also looking at drilling boreholes to alleviate water crisis induced by the drought that has hit the country,” he said adding that Government will this year secure a bore-drilling machine for each province. — @okazunga