By Sifiso Sibanda
Critical industries such as pharmaceuticals and service providers in Bulawayo are set to benefit from government’s ZWL$18 billion COVID-19 relief fund.
In an exclusive interview with ZBC News in Bulawayo this Tuesday, Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube said the sectors were identified as critical in terms of providing essential services.
“I have been interacting with industry to see what needs to be done and I realise that the pharmaceutical needs to be funded so that drugs are produced locally and there is a need for them to work with universities in their research and production.
“I also noted that there is a need to support the fabric manufacturing companies as part of the cotton to clothing value chain so that the cotton we produce could go through the value chain system and be improved. So under the ZWL$18 billion Covid fund these Bulawayo companies will benefit,” Hon Ncube said.
Turning to the government support of the Bulawayo City Council, Professor Ncube highlighted that treasury will continue to finance infrastructure development projects such as provision of water and road rehabilitation.
He said, “The City of Bulawayo has demonstrated that they are a responsible local authority when it comes to accounting for resources and for that we will continue to finance their capital projects such as water harvesting, sewer rehabilitation and their road infrastructure through the ZWL$20 billion road fund.”
The Finance Minister was in Bulawayo to get an appreciation of the operations of key economic sectors and ensure proper allotment of national resources by treasury.