via Government to establish Special Economic Zones | The Herald December 16, 2013 by Farirai Machivenyika
The 14th Zanu-PF Annual National People’s Conference resolved that Government immediately establish Special Economic Zones in various parts of Zimbabwe as a way of reviving industries that collapsed due to the effects of the West’s illegal sanctions regime.
In resolutions passed at the end of the conference in Chinhoyi last week, Zanu-PF also directed that refineries be established to prevent exportation of raw minerals.
One of the resolutions was “That Government should immediately establish Special Economic Zones to spur the resuscitation and revival of industry, for example by designating Bulawayo as a textile Special Economic Zone and the Great Dyke as a Metallurgical Special Economic Zone.”
The conference also called on Government to rationalise the diamond mining sector to improve transparency.
It was resolved that “Government (should) direct the establishment of refineries forthwith to prevent the exportation of raw minerals.”
In his opening address, President Mugabe said Government would institute major changes in the mining sector, particularly targeting diamonds, gold and platinum, to ensure maximum returns to Treasury.
Platinum mining giant Zimplats has already been given a two-year deadline to establish a refinery in the country or risk losing its licence.
“The party has resurrected and our towns and industries have not resurrected. Zim Asset should ensure our industry in all our towns and cities such as Bulawayo are operating again,” he said.
President Mugabe said exporting raw minerals was tantamount to exporting jobs and also reduced Government revenues.
Zanu-PF also resolved that all small-scale and artesanal miners be incorporated into the mainstream mining sector to prevent smuggling and other illicit mineral dealings.
The party further recommended that Government prioritise the operationalisation of New ZimSteel (formerly Ziscosteel) and engage co-operating partners in the establishment of an additional steel production plant.
Government was urged to promote the establishment of new community-based tourism initiatives as conduits for empowerment of women, youth and the physically challenged.