Players in the local motor industry have welcomed Government’s ban on importation of second hand cars which are more than 10 years old including the directive for line ministries to acquire locally assembled vehicles including buses.
Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube, announced the measures in his 2021 budget which he presented to Parliament last week as part of efforts to revive the local motor industry in line with targets in the recently launched National Development Strategy 1.
Willowvale Body Engineering managing director, Mr Sylvester Matambo, expressed gratitude to Government for measures aimed at supporting local players in the sector.
“We are grateful for the support that Government has given us because as you can see all these buses are being made by our company but more can be done to support us in terms of further scrapping duty on other selected components like the chassis we import from South Africa,” Mr Matambo said.
He added that Government should also consider contracting them to build buses for Zupco, which will go a long way in empowering them and the downstream industries.
“If we are considered to build buses for Zupco, the country will also save foreign currency and also create employment as envisaged in the NDS1.”
Willowvale Motor industries chairperson Mr Ben Khumalo, welcomed Government’s proposals.
“Government is right in bringing the policy framework but there are issues which need to be sorted out which include the cost aspect because we need to create a market that can easily have access to the local models by allowing financial institutions to play a role in the whole value chain,” he said.
In the Budget, Prof Ncube noted that Zimbabweans had spent about US$1,3 billion on the imports of buses, light commercial and passenger motor vehicles from 2015 to September 2020.
“This is despite the existence of capacity by the local motor industry to assemble the above-mentioned range of motor vehicles,” he said.
“Furthermore, due to lack of effective standards and regulation, unroadworthy vehicles, which, in some instances fail to meet environmental and safety standards, find their way onto the market. In line with the National Development Strategy 1, which underscores value addition, I propose to remove second-hand motor vehicles aged 10 years and above, from the date of manufacture at the time of importation, from the Open General Import Licence.”