Infrastructure Development Programme in Zimbabwe
The Infrastructure Investment Programme provides a roadmap towards infrastructure recovery, ensuring public assets are restored to full working condition, including addressing the apparent high cost of service provision, which currently presents binding constraints to sustained Economic Growth in Zimbabwe.
In 2020 the government set out to embark on a number of developmental initiatives. It was dubbed the Infrastructure Investment Programme. Government was going to run 9 infrastructural development initiatives in 2020. The entire project was reported to cost ZWL$24.7 billion and was being overseen by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. Some of the initiatives carried out were those ones already laid in the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP). The other ones are those that were discussed at the pre-budget seminar held by parliamentarians towards the end of 2019. These were all efforts aimed at stimulating economic growth for an economy that was swimming through the rocks.
Sector by Sector Breakdown of the Project
The project focused on 9 areas namely, energy, transport, housing, water and sanitation, health, education, ICTs, agriculture, and emerging ventures. The energy sector got the lion’s share of ZWL$9 billion that was meant for generating power plus other related initiatives. The transport domain would cost ZWL$4.4 billion and the housing sector needed ZWL$2.6 billion. Water and sanitation got ZWL$2.5 billion and ZWL$2 billion was for the health sector. Education cost ZWL$1.8 billion and ICTs received ZWL$1.2 billion. ZWL$900 million went towards agriculture and emerging ventures got ZWL$95 million.
Almost $140 billion will be invested in public infrastructure for the year 2021 to ensure everyone can participate in Zimbabwe’s social and economic development with investment in energy, transport, water, health, housing, education, ICT and irrigation leading the pack.
In the National Public Infrastructure Investment Programme for 2021, Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube said the programme provides new impetus in the delivery of projects that support economic recovery and growth, protect lives and livelihoods, create jobs and stimulate productive investment.
“Overall support under the Infrastructure Investment Programme for 2021 amounts to $139,8 billion,” he said.
Under the package energy will be allocated $45,7 billion, transport $36,4 billion, water and sanitation $14,5 billion, ICT $7 billion, health $10 billion, education, $7,5 billion, irrigation $3,9 billion and housing $10,1 billion.
Sources of Funding
About ZWL$12.1 billion will be raised through fiscal sources – through taxation mainly. Loans to the tune of ZWL$8.8 billion would be sourced and secured. ZWL$2 billion was expected to come from foreign aid whilst roughly ZWL$723 million was to come from statutory funding. Lastly, public entities were expected to mobilize some of their own funding and resources – ZWL$1.1 billion was projected to come from this.
While the bulk of the funds come from Government revenue, Minister Ncube said consistent with Government decision that projects with capacity to generate cashflows be funded from the market, $39.9 billion will be mobilised through loans, mainly targeting the energy and transport sectors where tariffs and user fees are generated almost immediately and are able to service and repay the loans.
The own resources of parastatals account for $9,7 billion and development partner support another $5,3 billion, while statutory funds, mainly from the Road Fund and Rural Electrification Fund, amount to $8,9 billion.
Some of the specific areas
The Harare – Beitbridge – Chirundu road development was earmarked to be a major priority. The National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) recapitalisation was also another major area. The Robert Gabriel Mugabe and Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International airports will continue being upgraded. The urban mass transport system will receive focal attention this year. These will be some of the specific areas to be worked on under the transport sector.
ZWL$311 million would be disbursed to local authorities for the prioritization of water and sanitation services. ZWL$2 billion was to be directed at addressing the housing lag of approximately 3 million houses. Some of the other areas to be embarked on will be the formative developments for Mount Hampden, Mbare and Makokoba flats. The regularization of Harare South was also a priority.
An upgrade for 20 district and 7 provincial hospitals will one of the major focuses under the health sector. Another priority will be the expansion of specialist tertiary care services to provincial hospitals in Masvingo, Mutare and Gweru. It was reported that 100 fully furnished ambulances were procured in 2019 and were all to be delivered in 2020.
In agriculture, concerted efforts were to be towards the rehabilitation of irrigation systems. There was also to be a focus on the promotion of renewable energy use in irrigation.
All these initiatives were earmarked for completion in 2020. It was believed that they would stimulate economic growth and also open up private sector investments. The development of infrastructure is always a catalyst for economic recovery and subsequent growth.