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43 State firms set for overhaul

Mangaliso Ndlovu
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GOVERNMENT’S reform programme on 43 public enterprises has gathered momentum with Cabinet yesterday resolving to consider, for adoption, submissions on targeted entities beginning next week.

Each Cabinet meeting will consider submissions on two public enterprises starting with ZISCO and Chemplex Corporation next Tuesday.

Briefing journalists after yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Acting Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu said there was no going back on the reforms.

“Cabinet considered a progress report by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development focusing on the reforms of 43 public enterprises earmarked for restructuring, partial privatisation, departmentalisation and performance review,” he said.

“Cabinet noted with satisfaction the considerable progress already registered, with the various entities now at different stages of their reformation. Cabinet resolved to consider in greater detail, submissions on two public enterprises at each meeting with effect from next week.”

Government is expected to reap proceeds of up to $350 million next year from the privatisation exercise.

Government has taken the decision to restructure parastatals as some of them have been posting losses perennially.

In 2016, 38 out of 93 audited SOEs incurred a combined $270 million loss because of dislocated corporate governance practices and ineffective control mechanisms.

Minister Ndlovu said Cabinet had also approved implementation of several projects under the 100–day cycle.

Programmes ready for implementation under the Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry include the accelerated national solid waste management project; strengthening small-scale miners capacity to comply with environmental regulations; enhancing community participation in tourism, wildlife and fisheries projects; accelerated reforestation and increased digital marketing of the country as an attractive tourist destination.

Those under the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education include provision of Science teaching and learning materials to primary schools; construction of Mariga Primary School and five new schools to 100 percent completion; construction of additional learning facilities in schools; learner and curriculum support through partnership and upgrading and registration of 10 satellite schools in Mashonaland West and Midlands.

The Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare will undertake finalisation of the Decent Work Country Programme (Policy); review and integration of BEAM, Social Cash Transfer, health assistance, public assistance and food mitigation programmes within a single Management Information System and finalisation of the NSSA Investment Policy Statement.

Minister Ndlovu said Cabinet also received a report on progress made towards the operationalisation of the Batoka Hydroelectric Power Project.

“More specifically, Cabinet was advised that following a recent visit by delegations from China Power and General Electric, contractors on the project, preliminary works on the project were now due to start in January 2019,” he said.