By Nomalanga Makwelo
Government says it is pleased by the adoption of the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) in the Matabeleland South region.
This was revealed by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development Professor Mthuli Ncube during his visit to Bulilima Mangwe district on Saturday.
Professor Ncube said NDS 1 targets urbanisation of areas like Figtree which will be transformed into smart cities ,in line with the vision 2030.
According to Minister Ncube urbanisation of the district would not only lead to the decongestion of Bulawayo Metropolitan but would also grow the GDP of the area which will in turn lead to the growth of the country ‘s economy.
“We need smart cities to decongest Bulawayo and other metropolis , a bigger driver of Provinicial GDP is urbanisation so the smarter the urbanisation the better. The most developed economies in the world are highly urbanised and urbanisation is a development strategy .”
Minister Ncube also commended the province on the implementation the devolution strategy, which is being channeled towards projects that are benefiting communities .
“I am pleased with the ZWL $15 million that has been received by Bulilima district for devolution that has been used very well in various projects . All this is designed to improve amenities in the local economy , we need to grow the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of each province in fact by the end of the year we will introduce a GDP figure for the Bulilima Mangwe Rural District Councils.”
Speaking on the role of diaspora in developing communities as outlined by the NDS1,Minister Ncube, applauded the diaspora for working hand in hand with the locals. The diaspora in the region have spearheaded construction of 4 secondary schools , 2 primary schools and 2 new clinics .
” The role of the diaspora is enshrined in NDS1 and we are pleased with what we are hearing here . I think we need a national programme so that every district and every province were the diaspora is active has similar programmes . As government we allowed citizens to make use of multi currency systems to manage liquidity and make life easy for locals but i also want to say no country can develop itself sustainably without its own currency and so you must use your own local currency .”
Minister Ncube however stated that the government was committed to addressing the key issues facing the province, and promised to develop the road network and water facilities the key enablers for development.
“It is true that we have not invested as much resources in road infrastructure in this area , i have looked at the figures for the last two years and this will be corrected overtime but we have not done our best. We have done better in other areas but for the whole of Matebeleland South Province we have focused on some emotional projects like the Tuli Manyange dam which will come through and we have also budgeted for the Gwanda Mapisa road. We need to focus on the key Plumtree Mpoengs Road ” , said Minister Ncube .