bulawayo city.jpgThe Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) is engaging the government and regional financial institutions to unlock funding for distressed firms in the country to curb de-industrialisation of small towns.

The move to engage the government and other stakeholders follows concerns over the rate at which industries are folding operations in various cities owing to sanctions induced challenges and unavailability of long term funding.

CZI Vice President, Mr Alexander Johnson said unavailability of long term finance has contributed significantly to the closure of firms in the country hence the engagement with government and regional institutions to fund distressed companies.

“We have engaged government ministers especially those that relate to economic performance and hope they are proffering solutions to the constraints encountered by the business. There are a number of challenges that continue to affect the local industry hence some firms are folding operations that range from uncompetitive tariffs to interrupted power supply,” said Mr Johnson.

In Bulawayo, 70 firms are reported to have closed operations while Mutare, Gweru and other smaller towns have also suffered the same fate.

The government has recently engaged South Africa for a US$50 million line of credit to support firms in Bulawayo.