Zimbabwe is expected to generate an additional 5 000 megawatts of electricity by 2020, easing its perennial power deficit on the back of new projects and the resuscitation of existing stations, President Robert Mugabe said today.
Mugabe told lawmakers during the opening of the second session of the Eighth Parliament that the completion of several power projects which are currently underway would ignite economic growth in line with the country’s economic blueprint, ZimAsset.
Zimbabwe is currently generating 940MW against peak demand of about 2000MW, resulting in frequent power cuts that hit mines, industry and households.
“The successful implementation of Zim-Asset hinges on the provision of adequate energy to all sectors of the economy. To this end, therefore, various initiatives to boost power generation are at varying stages of implementation,” Mugabe said.
“These include the Kariba South expansion project, the ZPC/Sinohydro Hwange Thermal Power Station Units 7 and 8 project, and several other smaller projects which, when complete, should yield a total of 5 000 megawatts by 2020.”
He said the setting up of special economic zones during the current session would also stimulate foreign direct investment, technology transfer and employment generation.
Mugabe said the mining sector, now the mainstay of the economy, would continue to drive economic growth despite a downward revision in its growth projections.
The mining sector, now accounting for over 60 percent of foreign currency generated is seen registering a negative 1.9 percent growth – after an initial growth projection of 10.7 percent for the year – due to weakening commodity prices.
Commenting on the indigenisation and empowerment law, Mugabe said government would penalise locals being used as fronts by foreign investors seeking to bypass local ownership regulations.
“Having taken the position that our people should not be reduced to mere appendages in the economic processes of their country, we made the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act an integral part of our statutes,” he said.
“However, it is depressing that some of our people have turned themselves into mere fronts for foreign investors thus defeating the fundamental objective of the indigenisation and economic empowerment programme. Decisive action shall indeed be taken to address these negative developments and to strengthen the general enforcement of the relevant legislation.”
Mugabe said Parliament would also enact the new Income Tax Bill. He said the Insurance Act and the Pension and Provident Funds Act would amended during the session.
“Our people could have been prejudiced in terms of their pensions and insurance in the change-over from the Zimbabwe dollar to the United States currency,” Mugabe said.
“Government is therefore launching a Commission of Inquiry to establish the processes and methods used to convert pension and insurance policy values from the Zimbabwean to US dollars. The findings of the commission and recommendations thereof should assist in restoring public confidence in the local pensions and insurance industry.”- The Source