FINANCE, Economic Development and Investment Promotions minister Mthuli Ncube has urged private players to come on board to help revamp stadiums.Ncube said private players could come on board under the public private partnerships (PPPs) deals.
He said the private players should take a leaf from projects like the Beitbridge Border Post, funded by private investors mostly South African banks on arrangement with government.
Responding to journalists after officially launching drones to fight smuggling and the commissioning a Customs and Excise block of staff flats, Ncube said the government was
prioritising the refurbishment of major sporting facilities that include existing stadiums like National Sports Stadium, Gwanzura and Barbourfields stadiums.
“So really on the National Sports Stadium which is a key infrastructure to national sport, we have teamed up with some private company which has agreed to spruce up part of the stadium of course for some money and branding. There is no free lunch in this world and we as government are going to chip in so it’s a private public partnership effort.
“So really I want to urge other private companies to meet the government halfway in other stadiums in such arrangements. After all, you can turn a stadium into an economy. In England for instance, the Emirates Stadium is an economy, there are restaurants, people enjoying themselves. A soccer match is a full day event.”
He said Zimbabweans should view sports in that way and change the stadiums into economic hubs.
Zimbabwe’s stadiums have been banned from hosting international soccer matches after failing to meet standards set by Fifa and Caf.
This has seen the men’s senior national soccer team playing home matches away from home in World Cup qualifiers.
Ncube who earlier launched drones said it was necessary to block all leakage at border posts and other departments could use the drones for their duties as well.
Meanwhile, Ncube launched the CBI natrice drone equipped with OcuSync Enterprise, the M300 has a transmission range of up to 15km.
“We still have leakages in the border and as we were launching, we were able to capture one incident of illicit behaviour on camera and one person has been apprehended. So, they are at work already,” he said.
The technology will be spread to five borders at Plumtree, Forbes, Chirundu, Nyamapanda and Beitbridge.