By Africa Moyo Deputy News Editor
Government is targeting to reform five public entities this year, and the processes are now at an advanced stage, Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube has said.
He said this in a document titled “Key milestones and progress on policy reforms”, released on Sunday.
“For 2019, Government has targeted five public enterprises namely TelOne/NetOne, Zimpost and POSB for parastatal reforms,” said Prof Ncube.a
He said in terms of the TelOne and NetOne reform, the two telecommunications firms will be “privatised as a single package”.
Prof Ncube said contract negotiations were underway for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to be the technical advisor for the two.
POSB is set to be partially privatised and adjudication of bids was done on June 25, 2019 and contract negotiations have resumed with KPMG, who were awarded the tender.
In terms of the Grain Marketing Board (GMB), it has already been demerged into GMB Strategic Grain Reserve and Silo Foods Industries.
Silo Foods Industries is now registered as a company.
Prof Ncube said Cabinet has approved Silo Foods to get a “strategic partner to raise capital” and a technical committee is in the process of identifying a transactional advisor. National power utility, ZESA, which has five separate units, is set to be re-bundled.
The Electricity Act is set to be amended as part of the process. A technical committee is working on the implementation of ZESA’s re-bundling and an expression of interest for the engagement of a human resources consultant has since been received and evaluated.
Government unbundled Zesa first in 1997 and later in 2006. It was unbundled into five entities; Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC), Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), Powertel Communications, Zesa Enterprises (Zent) and Zesa Holdings.
Later, Government set up the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) and the Zimbabwe Regulatory Authority (Zera).
All the units have their own executive management staff and board of directors, a structure viewed as both unwieldy and untenable considering the huge costs associated with running the firms.
Prof Ncube said Government has embarked on the programme to reform public enterprises “in order to improve their efficiency and governance, that way, increasing their contribution to the economy”.
The reform strategies include privatisation, listing on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE), liquidation, merging, partial privatisation and adoption by line ministries. Public entities lined up for privatisation are the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ); ZUPCO, Agribank and some subsidiaries of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). Firms lined due for ZSE listing are Petrotrade, Willowvale Motor Industries, Chemplex and Deven Engineering.
The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) and the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ); PowerTel, Zarnet and Africom; Boxing and Wrestling Boards; the Competition and Tariff Commission (CTC), the Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA), Special Economic Zones (SEZ),
ZimTrade, and Joint Ventures Unit; are set to be merged.
Companies set for liquidation are National Glass Industries, Zimglass, Kingstones Limited and Tractor firm, Motira.
Those to be adopted by line ministries are New Ziana, the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board (NIEEB), the National Liquor Licensing, Board of Censors, Lotteries and Gaming Board.
Seventeen Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) subsidiaries will be partially privatised, together with the GMB and the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (Caaz), which will be unbundled to separate regulatory and commercial functions.