Incomplete government projects in Matabeleland North Province have become a cause for concern with stakeholders saying they are derailing efforts to attract investors.
Matabeleland North is one of the least developed provinces in the country, with numerous incomplete government projects.
Among the outstanding projects are the Gwayi Shangani Dam, Lupane Provincial Hospital, Bulawayo-Nkayi road, Elitsheni government complex and the civil servants housing project in Lupane.
“The slow progress on development in the province has an effect of turning away investors and forcing the locals to travel to other provinces to seek essential services,” an economic analyst, Mr Bukhosi Mpofu.
“The whole issue goes back to the fiscus and monetary policy to say what is the priority at the present moment but I feel that if we are to fix the economy, we need to be able to attract investors and for us to be able to attract investors, we need to be able to sell ourselves with places that investors are likely to invest in. Otherwise as it stands right now, if we are unable to complete these structures, investors are going to shun away from our province,” he added.
“Lack of clear completion target dates for some of the projects has also made it difficult to enforce monitoring, leading to some being abandoned for more than two decades now, while some have become white elephants,” a business operator, Mr Clement Mukwasi.
“It is also not very clear even in the budget that was presented a few months ago on whether or not there is real focus on Matabeleland North incomplete projects. Probably what is required is to have a focused planning. We expect the new regime to comply with the constitution in as far as the establishment of provincial councils is concerned. Probably if we have the provincial councils, they were going to focus on those projects that need to be taken as a matter of urgency,” he added.
Apart from infrastructural development, the projects will generate income for the local communities.
Meanwhile, the road surfacing projects that were undertaken in all district centres across the province have been described as a step in the right direction.