SOUTH Africa has confidence that President Mugabe and Zanu-PF will revive the Zimbabwean economy after resoundingly winning the recently held harmonised elections, visiting South African Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Ms Elizabeth Thabethe has said.
Speaking at an investment and trade initiative programme held in Gweru yesterday, Ms Thabethe said South Africa was confident that President Mugabe was capable of reviving the Zimbabwean economy.
“I want to take this opportunity to congratulate President Mugabe for winning the elections. Makorokoto, Amhlophe. We wish him the best in his endeavours to revive the economy,” she said.
Ms Thabethe said Zimbabweans should also benefit from their own resources and help develop the economy.
“Zimbabwe is endowed with so many minerals and other natural resources. Zimbabweans must utilise these resources to develop their nation. It is up to the Zimbabweans now to see how best these resources can be utilised for their own good. We should alleviate poverty and curb unemployment using these resources,” she said.
Ms Thabethe said the new Government should start working on reviving the economy to ensure that it reclaims its status as the bread basket of Southern Africa.
“We know Zimbabwe is capable of feeding the whole continent. We know it used to be an agrarian economy. Zimbabweans should use their skills to reclaim their country’s status of being the bread basket of Southern Africa. We know that Zimbabweans are hardworking and have great skills.
“They must use them to their advantage. Zimbabwe has no need to import food if they have a capacity to feed the whole continent. Zimbabwe was one of the most powerful countries in Africa in terms of education systems and skills,” she said.
Ms Thabethe also concurred with President Mugabe that Africa would never be a colony again and must control its own resources.
“There has been a misrepresentation of facts by some European countries that Africans are backward. I will not pin point countries but some have undermined African states.
We should remind them that Africa will never be a colony again. There is no room for that. We must decide our own destiny,” she said.
Ms Thabethe said Zimbabwe and South Africa’s cordial relations must also enhance trade balance between the two Southern African countries.
“Business people must take advantage of the good relations that we have with Zimbabwe to venture into business partnership. This will increase trade balance between the two countries. We as Governments have done our part and the business sector should complement our efforts to cement the friendly relationship that the two countries have,” she said.
Ms Thabethe urged the Zimbabwean business community to also invest in South Africa so as to ensure there would be trade balance.
She said the business community must also work together with the Government to develop the country’s infrastructure.