Byo mayor Coltart in charm offensive to lure investors 

Source: Byo mayor Coltart in charm offensive to lure investors -Newsday Zimbabwe

JOSHUA Nkomo Foundation South Africa (JNFSA) has invited Bulawayo mayor David Coltart to an investment dinner to brainstorm on how to revive industries in Zimbabwe’s second largest city.

Once the country’s industrial hub, Bulawayo has since lost that status, with churches taking over the premises abandoned by closed companies.

JNFSA is a non-governmental organisation based in South Africa that is tasked with preserving the legacy of the late Vice-President, Joshua Nkomo.

In an interview with this paper, JNFSA chairperson Mehluli Moyo said the meeting would be in two phases on Saturday in Hillbrow, Johannesburg, South Africa.

“The foundation, based in South Africa, has invited the mayor David Coltart and will be hosting him on Saturday in Hillbrow,” he said.

The morning session will see Coltart engaging the Zimbabwean community based in South Africa on the challenges they face when acquiring residential stands in Bulawayo.

This will be followed by an investment gala dinner in the evening.

Coltart’s trip to South Africa comes as the Industry and Commerce ministry is working on accelerating industrialisation and structural transformation through policy interventions to increase productivity.

Some of the strategies include strengthening the promotion of Zimbabwean exports through missions and bilateral and multilateral meetings.

The ministry will next year accelerate the establishment of 10 provincial industrial parks to recapacitate different industries.

Industry is being negatively affected by the growing informalisation of the economy.

Moyo revealed that the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has delegated economic development officer Kholisani Moyo and the acting chairperson of business and investment community Mxolisi Mahlangu to accompany the mayor.

“We need solid initiatives, strategies and collaborations to restore and resuscitate Bulawayo. There are so many businesses that have closed in Bulawayo. Some of the businesspeople want to move some of their businesses to Bulawayo,” he said.

“This will be the first phase of the engagement where the embassy will also be in attendance. The second one will be held in Bulawayo towards the end of January. We hope that with the devolution of power, BCC must be having a good working relationship with the relevant ministry because we will need to engage the government as the policymaker.’’

Coltart said he was grateful to have been invited.

“This is a rare opportunity to explain to them what we want to do to turn Bulawayo around. It is a positive move,” he said.