2012 Zimbabwe National Budget Statement – Part 1

Posted on 24/11/2011

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The 2012 budget will focus on the following issues:

1. Consolidating macro-economic stability, founded on an anti-cyclical macro-economic framework;

2. Deliberate focus on inclusive growth with jobs;

3. Attending to the issue of capital formation through Public

4. Sector Investments, with special emphasis on completing outstanding capital projects as opposed to green fields;

5. Ensuring and establishing food security;

6. Redesigning the financial services sector to promote savings, financial deepening, viability, sustainable finance to the business sector, as well as reduction of financial sector vulnerability;

7. Decentralising allocation of resources, with special emphasis on even and equal treatment of Provinces;

8. Investment in social services delivery, in particular health and education;

9. Creating a conducive “Doing Business Environment””;

10. Monetising the Peace Process, in particular the Constitutional

11. Referendum, National Healing and the GPA democratisation imperators;

12. Tackling critical enablers, in particular energy, water and sanitation; and

13. Special focus on rural under-development through addressing rural energy, water and agriculture.

Biti’s focus is ‘the pursuit of inclusive growth, growth with jobs is the focus of this budget’.

Key budget points:

Domestic Developments:

1. Overall growth rate to the end of 2011 is still projected at 9.3%

2. This growth momentum is anticipated to be maintained in 2012 at 9.4%, underpinned by further positive performance in finance (23%), mining (15.8%), tourism (13.7%), agriculture (11.6%), manufacturing (6%), and transport and communication (6%).

Of the transport and communication, ICTs account for 55%, reflecting the large investments being made in that area.

Gross Capital Formation:

1. Countries such as China and India with gross capital formations of more than 50% and 32% of GDP, respectively, have managed to sustain high growth rates of more than 8% annually

2. For developing countries such as Zimbabwe, gross capital formation of at least 30% of GDP is required to facilitate high and sustainable growth rates.

3. Between 2009 and 2010, the country’s gross capital formation remained below 30%, ranging between 15-22% of GDP and is expected to remain within that range in 2011 .– 2012

Foreign Direct Investment:

Zimbabwe’s capital account inflows, thus, remain a sad story, with 2011 foreign direct investment levels at US$125 million.

Agriculture:

The agricultural sector requires more than US$2 billion annually to fully take advantage of its potential the projected growth in agricultural production

of 11.6% in 2012 takes account of the number of financing facilities established by Government, the banking sector, co-operating partners, seed and fertilizer suppliers in support of the preparation for the 2011/2012 agricultural season.

Mining:

1. The 2011 growth for the sector estimated at 25.8%, marginally down on the initial forecast of 33%.

2. In 2012, mining is anticipated to remain the major driving force behind overall economic growth, benefitting from further private capital injections, firm international commodity prices and anticipated initiatives to minimise electricity supply interruptions

Manufacturing:

1. Further recovery in both agriculture and mining should have positive spill over benefits for manufacturing industry, which is projected to register a 6% growth in 2012.

2. Challenges to be overcome include mobilisation of additional lines of credit for industrial re-tooling and other working capital requirements.

3. Sub-sectors anticipated to drive growth in manufacturing will include food stuffs (6%), wood and furniture (8%), metals and metal products (11%), and non-metal products (25%).

Capacity Utilisation:

1. Developments during the first half of the year to June 2011 indicate that overall average capacity utilisation in the manufacturing sector improved to about 57.2%, compared to 43.7% last year

2. Capacity utilisation in some of the higher performing sub-sectors is set to significantly improve, from current average levels of around 65%.

3. Capacity utilisation in such sub-sectors as clothing, textiles and printing is set to remain poor, with levels of as low as 20% anticipated in some industries

4. Major factors constraining capacity utilisation include low product demand, obsolete machinery susceptible to frequent breakdowns, lack of working capital and raw materials

Electricity:

1. Notwithstanding targeted and on-going rehabilitation programmes at Hwange, Kariba and small thermal power stations, power supply remains a major challenge for economic recovery.

2. In 2011 alone, about US$40 million was disbursed for the energy programmes, however, resulting in only un-sustained marginal gains in power generation

3. The targeted power supply in 2011 of 1 600 MW remains a challenge, as only an average of 1 105 MW has so far been realised, though some output improvement from 952 MW in 2010.

4. In 2012, electricity output is projected at 1 244 MW, reflecting only a 4.5% growth, a far cry from power supply levels required to drive sustainable increased production activity power supply remains a major noose around the economy.

5. Uninterrupted electricity supply will, however, hinge on sustained investments in power generation and transmission which, will require the contribution of all beneficiaries

Tourism:

1. Further work towards overcoming negative perceptions over our country is required.

2. Some success towards re-branding Zimbabwe’s tourism facilities and infrastructure under the theme – “Zimbabwe: A World of Wonders.” coupled with the self-evident reduction of internal disharmony over the last 35 months, is being noted.

3. The successful bid by Zimbabwe to co-host with Zambia the 2013 United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly is, therefore, a positive development for the country. Successful hosting of this event should further boost tourist arrivals.

4. The partial recovery of tourism has seen growth in average bed occupancy from 36% in 2010 to 37% in 2011.

Information Communication Technology:

1. Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector remains one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy. According to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), Zimbabwe was ranked 124 out of 152, jumping four places from the 128 it was in 2008

2. Concurrently, the voice penetration rate or tele-density has improved, reaching 68% in 2011, of which mobile penetration accounted for 65%, making Zimbabwe one of the countries with the highest rates alongside South Africa, Botswana, and Mozambique.

3. However, the internet penetration rate at around 13% remains below the international levels of 26.6%, although above the regional average of 11%.

4. Cumulatively, the three mobile service providers share close to 8.1 million subscribers, up from 7.7 million last year

Transport:

1. Rail transport is the most competitive mode of transport for bulk goods internally, and with external markets

2. The poor state of our rail transport system and network continues to undermine the competitiveness of Zimbabwean goods in markets

3. Major challenges at the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) relate to run-down track, obsolete signalling systems and rolling stock.

Construction:

1. Construction activity is often a useful barometer for underlying business activity in any economy

2. The stabilisation of the macro-economic environment since 2009 has allowed the construction sector to slowly emerge from the crisis of the past decade, with positive growth of 1% estimated for 2011 and 1.5% for 2012

3. Challenges related to intermittent supply side bottlenecks of such critical inputs as cement and bricks, coupled with under-capitalisation of the major construction companies and liquidity constraints, all serve to limit the sector’s capacity to seize on emerging green shoots of economic recovery.

4. With gradual improvement in investment in the production of the key building materials such as cement and bricks, activity in the sector is set to improve

National Housing:

Government has availed the US$25 million facility in 2010 through the IDBZ for housing projects in various local authorities.

Of this amount, US$14.8 million has so far been spent on various housing projects in a number of local authorities, which include:

• Willowvale Flats; Sunway City, Dzivarasekwa and Marimba in Harare;

• Lower Paradise in Marondera

• Mbizo in Kwekwe;

• Chikanga in Mutare;

• Parklands in Bulawayo;

• Checheche in Chipinge; and

• Nemamwa in Masvingo;

• Spitzkop in Gwanda; and

• Tshobani in Chiredzi.

Inflation:

1. Since the inauguration of our Inclusive Government 35 months ago, inflation management and oversight remains the apogee of our macro-economic targets

2. Annual inflation, which started the year at 3.5%, dropped to

3. 2.5% in the second quarter of the year. By the third Quarter of

4. The year, inflation was on the rise, reaching 3.3% in July, 3.5% in August and 4.3% in September. Month on month inflation also oscillated in almost the same pattern.

5. Developments in the month of October witnessed some reversal, with monthly inflation falling to 0.1%. Monthly inflation in September was 0.8%, a level last registered in March. The significant deceleration in inflation during October saw the year on-year inflation falling to 4.2%.

6. The major drivers of inflation so far in 2011 have been housing and rental costs, alcohol and food.

7. There was a sharp increase of 0.5% in food prices between August and September, related to unwarranted retrogressive price adjustments on some basic commodities, following review of import duties.

8. International oil prices have been volatile and mostly on the decline from April 2011. However and surprisingly, there was no corresponding movement in domestic prices

9. Our domestic price developments also reflect the economic integration pattern between our economy and that of South Africa, a major source of our imports. Some of the price movements in South Africa are reproduced asymmetrically in Zimbabwe.

10. Government review of utility tariffs has also had a bearing on inflationary pressures in the economy, in particular the 31% electricity adjustment in September 2011

11. Projections to year end, however, show annual average inflation remaining within the targeted range of 3.5-4.5%.

12. Our inflation levels remain within the SADC macroeconomic convergence criteria thresholds.

Financial Services:

1. There is no doubt that, over the last 35 months, developments in the financial sector have been progressively upwards, with the deposit base now estimated at US$3.3 billion by end of September 2011.

2. It is estimated that over US$2 billion remains outside the formal banking system, on account of absence of incentives and historical confidence concerns, among others

3. In 2012, the deposit base is estimated at above US$3.8 billion, of which about 80% will be available for lending.

4. Lending to the productive sectors grew to US$2.59 billion over the period, constituting 78.4% of total deposits. Primary beneficiaries were in the sectors of agriculture (18%), manufacturing, (20%), distribution (19%) and mining (6%).

5. However, compared to previous years, there is a gradual shift in the proportion of lending towards services, construction, communication and individuals, while the share of lending to agriculture, mining and manufacturing remained relatively stagnant.

6. Beneficiaries continue to face high lending interest rates of about 15-30%, against deposit rates of as low as 0.2%.

The entire 2012 National Budget Statement is located here – http://www.zimtreasury.org/downloads/930.pdf

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