Local empowerment lobby group, the Business Economic Empowerment Federation (BEEF), says it is lobbying the Government to amend laws that allow local companies to have 80 percent procurement monopoly in order to grow capital within societies and benefit the economy.
BEEF is a local empowerment lobby group that advocates and supports indigenous businesspeople to take a leading role in nation and wealth creation.
Their role compliments Government vision of creating an empowered society, through Vision 2030, which seeks to usher in an upper-middle income economy by 2030 while leaving no one and no place behind.
BEEF president, Dr Solomon Matsa, told journalists recently that the indigenous people play a pivotal role in developing the country as their revenue and taxes are mostly used in the country.
“Government should ensure that 80 percent of procurement is done by local companies whether it is in private or public entities.
“This is because it will provide manufacturing companies to identify business opportunities. If you look at the road construction the quarry is mined locally, so even if the foreigners get a contract, the procurement should be done by a local company because these are low hanging fruits,” he said.
Founded in November 2017 by Zimbabwean business entrepreneurs, BEEF also seeks to promote business and economic empowerment of native businesspeople, including citizens in the diaspora.
“As a federation, we are there to complement government efforts in reviving, restoring confidence, and resuscitating the Zimbabwean economy for the next 20 years.
“BEEF will assist members who target the mining, agriculture, manufacturing, and services (procurement, logistics, banking, and insurance), and education, among others,” Dr. Matsa said.
In 2019, the Government approved the Zimbabwe Local Content Strategy, which is a component of the country’s Industrialisation Policy, which aims to promote local value addition and linkages through the utilisation of domestic resources.
Local content policies or laws have been major instruments for stimulating industrial growth in resource-rich countries.
Dr Matsa said if Zimbabwe was to imitate the legislation in America where in 1953, the Small Business Act was passed in, and later reinforced by the 1958 Small Business Investment Act then it will be fruitful for the economy.
“These two pieces of legislation were to prove critical for the growth of Silicon Valley. During the years 1974 – 77, only 61 Smaller Companies worth US$5 million or less,were able to sell stock to the Public, showing that local business entrepreneurs who have small business makes the economy strong,” he said.
Dr Matsa said BEEF was given the mandate to put together authentic business people who are not represented in government, saying as it stands, the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) and the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) are run by Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and not the real owners of the businesses.
“BEEF gives Zimbabweans an opportunity to start businesses without capital. By supporting Zimbabweans to start businesses, locals are forming consortiums working on building roads.
“In the last three years, locals have proved their potential. Most projects whether housing, roads, mining, or agriculture are being spearheaded by locals in a move that saves the country millions of dollars,” he said.
He indicated that locally-owned companies like Masimba, Tensor, Fossil, and Exodus are doing fantastic work in the construction of roads.