Nearly a third of Zimbabwe firms earn less than $5 000 annually


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About 30 percent of registered companies in Zimbabwe are generating less than $5 000 annually, the national statistics agency has said in a report also showing that the country has become a nation of sellers as its manufacturing capacity collapsed.

The Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat) conducted the first Central Business Register (CBR) inquiry between August, 2013 and June, 2014 which showed that only three percent of registered companies in the country had an annual turnover of over $1 million.

“The information on annual turnover as at 31 December 2012 showed that about 30 percent of the establishments had an annual turnover of less than $5 000 whilst about 3 percent had an annual turnover above $1 million.

Six establishments had less than $50 000 as annual turnovers and employed between 100 and 500 employees,” Zimstat said in the report.

“The analysis also revealed that about 62.5 percent of the establishments had the majority of the shares owned by males. Only 17.8 percent of the establishments had the majority shares owned by females and 14 percent of the establishments reported that there was equal share ownership between males and females.”

While a recent Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries survey showed manufacturing sector at a third of capacity, about 59 percent of those companies in operation were found to be in the wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motor cycles. Only 11 percent were in the manufacturing industry, Zimstat said.

Females are a minority in all industries and were completely absent in mining, quarrying, electricity and gas. Female-owned establishments had fewer employees in all categories and no female-owned establishments employed more than five hundred employees, the report shows.

The report covered all the establishments operating on a fixed location in Zimbabwe which were either registered or licenced or both by any arm of government excluding government ministries.

Zimstat said 69 522 questionnaires were dispatched and of these, 56 480 were completed , constituting a national response rate of 81.2 percent.

The highest response rate was from Mashonaland Central Province (98.3 percent) while the lowest was from Harare Province at 43.9 percent followed by Matabeleland South Province at 73.2 percent.

The report attributed the low participation in Harare to fear that the survey could have been an indirect blitz by the revenue agency, ZIMRA.

“It should be noted that the non-response rate for Harare Province (43.9%) could have been affected by the ZIMRA and City of Harare revenue collection exercises which were being carried out within the same period. ZIMSTAT field staff were mistaken as tax collectors,” said Zimstat.

Of the companies that participated in the exercise, 60.1 percent were owned by sole traders followed by 19 percent which belonged to private limited companies.

Government has the lowest number of companies at 0.9 percent.

The exercise was carried out with technical and financial support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Strategic Economic Research and Analysis (SERA) Programme.- The Source

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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