Government is pushing implementation of a policy to compel all ministries, departments and parastatals to purchase vehicles from local assemblers. To this end, the Industry and Commerce Ministry has already launched the Motor Industry Development Policy.
There are plans to economise use of foreign currency by ensuring Government departments and parastatals purchase vehicles locally. It is estimated that over $20 million is needed by Government to purchase vehicles for ministers and legislators.
Speaking to The Sunday Mail recently, Industry and Commerce Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu said of the Motor Industry Policy: “It is a policy that we are working on. It cannot be a legal framework to make it mandatory for people to purchase locally, but what we are saying is we are pushing the implementation of the policy by persuading those in authority to purchase the vehicles locally.”
Minister Ndlovu said a committee would steer dialogue between Government and the motor industry to ensure the goals of the policy are realised.
“The motor industry is crucial sector which we want to prioritise this coming year. Recently we had a motor industry conference and the policy was at the centre of discussions. We have formed a technical committee of players in the motor industry which will be reporting back to me so we can set that policy in motion. I have asked them to do a break-down of expectations in each sub-sector.”
Motor Industry Association of Zimbabwe president Mr Simplisio Shamba said while there had been some setbacks in implementing the policy, targets were still on track.
“The first stages of things that should be done by December 2018; we are still in line,” he said. “For instance, if you look at the implementation matrix, CKD (completely knocked down) and SKD (semi-knocked down) as laid out in Statutory Instrument I13 of 1999 and Statutory Instrument 136 of 2016 were reviewed to be up to date with times and we standardised currencies.”
Mr Shamba urged Government to consider making local procurement of vehicles by its departments mandatory.
Other targets of the Motor Industry and Development Policy include increasing exports of locally assembled vehicles from zero to 50 percent by 2030.
There are also plans to restrict the age of second-hand vehicle imports, with the totality of the policy expected to create close to 20 000 jobs.