Zvamaida Murwira-Senior Reporter
The economic performance targets for this year will be met despite challenges spawned by Covid-19, thanks to the proactive national interventions to the disease, the improved agricultural season, higher international mineral and commodity prices and a stable macro-economic environment, the Government has said.
Budget surpluses continued to be recorded in the first two quarters, inflation was continuing to fall faster than expected, roads were being fixed quickly and industry was using ever more of its capacity.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said after yesterday’s Cabinet meeting that Cabinet adopted the mid-year performance review of the National Development Strategy 1 presented by Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube.
“The Mid-Year Report is the second report after the First Quarter Report presented in May 2021. This report covers the 14 National Priority Areas of the National Development Strategy 1, and is a critical component of the Strategy’s monitoring and evaluation framework.
“Cabinet wishes to advise the nation that in spite of the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, national economic performance is expected to remain strong, on the back of an improved 2020-2021 agricultural season, higher international mineral commodity prices and a stable macroeconomic environment and proactive Covid-19 pandemic national interventions,” she said.
“Projections are therefore that, if the current growth trajectory is sustained, there is a high probability that the ministries, departments and agencies, and NDS 1 thematic working groups will be able to meet their national targets for 2021.
A synopsis of the performance review indicates that, under the economic growth and stability pillar, the GDP growth rate for 2021 has been revised upwards from the initial projection of 7,4 percent to 7,8 percent.
“Budget surpluses were recorded in both the first and second quarters, with revenue performance above targets, while expenditure slightly exceeded the projected target. The declining trend in inflation was also sustained during the second quarter, with quarterly inflation averaging 149 percent against the targeted 228 percent.”
Minister Mutsvangwa said some of the highlights include increase in capacity utilisation, remarkable progress in road infrastructure rehabilitation under the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme, two radio stations were operationalised and 76 percent national radio coverage achieved and all the targeted awareness campaigns were aired on the major media platforms.
She said under the human capital development and innovation pillar, eight innovation hubs, one science park and four industrial parks were established during the first half of 2021, with the Verify Engineering Medical Oxygen and Nitrogen Gases Plant having been completed and commissioned while the national vaccination programme was successfully rolled out.
In the youth, sport, arts and culture pillar, industrial incubation hubs, interact and cultural heritage centres were established in order to increase youth participation in development activities in the country’s socio-economic sectors.
They include Hwedza country club, Victoria Falls, Chachacha, Rafemoyo multipurpose courts and Concession recreation park.
Magistrate Courts were built in Mount Darwin, Epworth, Chinhoyi, Lupane and Chiredzi.
Minister Mutsvangwa said Cabinet also received reports on the eighth 100 Day cycle of the Second Republic from Vice President and Health and Child Care Minister Constantino Chiwenga, Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Prof Amon Murwira, and Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe.
VP Chiwenga reported that construction of the Stoneridge polyclinic in Harare South was 80 percent complete and drilling of 100 boreholes and installation of 150 solar power systems at primary care clinics was on course, along with the upgrading of health laboratories at major central hospitals.
Prof Murwira reported that civil and construction engineering infrastructure at tertiary institutions was progressing.
Minister Kazembe reported that construction of registry buildings was on course including construction of structures of entities under his ministry.