Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
Government — through the Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA) — has extended the boundaries of Belmont, Donnington and Kelvin Special Economic Zones in Bulawayo to include the Westondale Industrial Area.
Government originally designated four areas as SEZs in Bulawayo as part of efforts to accelerate the revival of its industries which have been on a slump owing to a myriad of challenges over the last two decades.
The objective of the designation was to “restore the economy’s capacity to produce goods and services competitively, to create economies of scale good enough for the locator of the proposed SEZs to be internationally competitive; to ensure inclusive growth emanating from the spread of growth nodes and diversified provincial offerings; to maximise the economic benefits of a given geographical location and its stakeholders and to attract more investment from the international world”.
The notice of extension was published under General Notice 1519 of 2019 in last Friday’s Government Gazette.
“It is hereby notified, in terms of Section 20 (2) of the Special Economic Zones Authority Act, the Special Economic Zones Authority has amended and extended the Belmont, Donnington and Kelvin Special Economic Zone to include Westondale industrial area,” said Mr Edwin Kondo, SEZA chief executive officer.
The inclusion of the Westondale industrial area brings to five the number of SEZs in Bulawayo, others being the Belmont, Donnington and Kelvin SEZs and Umvimila Industrial Park.
The SEZA Act was promulgated in 2016 while the regulations governing the zones were gazetted last year to operationalise them.
Through this Act, the Zimbabwe Special Economic Zones Authority was established to oversee and assist companies or investors keen to conduct business in these areas.
The main functions of the authority include administering and controlling SEZs, granting investment licences, and monitoring activities of approved investments.
The Special Economic Zone (SEZ) offers investment opportunities in the infrastructure development of utilities, development of solar power plants, textiles and leather processing.
Other SEZs are in Victoria Falls, Beitbridge, Harare (Sunway City), Mutare and Norton.