Reforms start bearing fruit

Debra Matabvu recently in  Chinhoyi
President Mugabe has signed the Amended Deeds Registries Act (Chapter 20:05) into law as part of Government’s ease of doing business reforms.

At a workshop organised by Zvimba Rural District Council in Chinhoyi last week, ease of doing business country coach for local authorities, Ms Elizabeth Nyagura, said a technical team was working on refining other legislation to improve the ease of doing business in rural and urban areas.

“We have amended the Deeds Registries Act two weeks ago and it has been assented by His Excellency,” she said.

The workshop follows the 100-Day Rapid Results Programme introduced by Government for local authorities to attract investment.

One of the goals of the initiative is to reduce the time taken by RDCs to process applications for residential and commercial stands, shop permits and building plan approvals from 90 to five working days.

At the same occasion, Zvimba RDC chief executive officer Mr Peter Hlohla decried bottlenecks to business local authorities’ business operations.

“We have the Regional, Town and Country Planning Act, which recognises local authorities as planning authorities. However there are some Statutory Instruments and directives from line ministries which are contradictory to this Act, making it difficult for local authorities to operate without regulatory hindrances,” he said.

“For instance, in new settlements and rural business areas, the Ministry of Lands is distributing land, thereby taking away the role of local authorities. This is detrimental to RDCs business operations.

“There are also Acts such as the Mines and Minerals Act; this Act does not involve local authorities at the initial stages so that issues such as human settlement are properly planned from these early stages. However, you find that the local authorities are only roped in when the mine is now defunct.

“The same goes for permits for private land developers who are given land and do not develop it. They sell stands but do not bother to develop land.

“At the end of the day local authorities are left with the burden of developing the land. There is need to relook at these Acts and amend them as they are detrimental to the ease of doing business.”

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