Sunday, 24 June 2018


Government says the recently launched Zimbabwe Motor Industry Development Policy (ZMIDP) will result in the creation of 20 000 jobs in the sector and downstream industries, driven by a rise in capacity utilisation.

ZMIDP was launched a fortnight ago and once fully implemented, it is expected to see the sector ramping up capacity from the current levels of under 10 percent to full capacity by 2030.

The policy is anchored on six key strategies, which are control on second-hand vehicle imports, categorisation and regulation of the motor industry, development of motor industry value chain and clusters, assembly of semi-knocked down (SKD) and completely knocked down (CKD) kits, and Government support.

ZMIDP runs from this year to 2030, with a provision for a mid-term review after the first five years. President Mnangagwa intends to transform Zimbabwe into a middle income country by 2030.

Government will support local car assemblers through legislation and increasing duty and surtax on imported second-hand cars as part of measures to control their importation and pull the local motor industry out of the doldrums.

This will see many people buying locally and saving the country billions in foreign currency.
Between 2009 and 2014, vehicle imports — mainly for second-hand cars — chewed an average of US$500 million per annum.
Imports, together with other economic challenges, conspired to cause a decline in capacity utilisation at local vehicle assemblers from 20 000 units in 1997 to almost 6 000 in 2009.

Meanwhile, sales for second-hand vehicles have increased to over 60 000 units.
The Minister of Industry, Commerce and Enterprise Development Dr Mike Bimha said ZMIDP also seeks to promote downstream local industries such as suppliers of tyres, batteries, glass, paint, chemicals, solvents, springs, steel, seat forms, seat covers and wood.

In the past, vehicle batteries used to be manufactured by Battery World, Art Corporation and Trimtex Engineering, all of which have since closed.

Only Chloride Zimbabwe is making batteries and has invested in advanced technologies for the production of maintenance free batteries.

The battery sub-sector is currently failing to meet demand as it is producing 18 000 batteries per month, against a local monthly demand of 25 000. The increase in the use of solar as an alternative energy source has also triggered more demand for batteries.

Dr Bimha said the success of ZMIDP will be measured against the development of the local motor industry to a level where it is 100 percent self-sufficient in terms of supplying automotive and components requirements by 2030 and creation of 20 000 jobs.

Job creation is at the heart of Zanu-PF ’s manifesto, whose theme for the July 30 plebiscite reads “Unite, fight corruption, develop, re-engage and create jobs”. Sunday Mail


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