THE Bulawayo Development Committee (BDC) has not been operational during the past three years due to a biting economic crisis in the country, a founder membe
r told businessdigest. The BDC was formed to woo investment into the country’s second largest city.
Economist Eric Bloch, who chairs the 12-member committee, said their initiative had been spoilt by poor government policies which have spawned the worst economic crisis in the history of the country.
Bloch said they had suspended the organisation’s business until major policy changes and a turn-around in the country’s economy.
“We decided to be inactive some three years ago due to government’s bad policies which are scaring away investors,” Bloch said.
“When we formed the BDC committee our main aim was to promote investment in Bulawayo and to create jobs for locals.”
Bloch said government should deregulate the economy and do away with price controls.
“The economy must be deregulated because investors want to be masters of their own destiny. It is bad for the investors to be told who they should sell to, at what price and so forth. Also, most investors are supporters of (black) empowerment but they want to choose who their partners should be and not be told by the government,” Bloch said.
He said the city had recorded no meaningful investment in the past few years because the environment was not good for investors.
Bloch said many companies in the city had this year laid off staff after scaling down operations due to hyperinflation and lack of foreign currency to import raw materials.