Zim shows SA how to do it, starts cutting bloated public-sector

JOHANNESBURG — Major economic reforms are currently underway in Zimbabwe which is experiencing a promising rebound. The country’s new Finance Minister, technocrat Mthuli Ncube, is making a series of wide-ranging changes that are sure to make prospective investors sit up and take notice. Among the first of these changes include the reduction in that country’s state wage bill. It will be interesting to see if Zimbabwe can slowly start re-establishing itself as an African economic powerhouse. – Gareth van Zyl

By Godfrey Marawanyika

(Bloomberg) – Zimbabwe’s cabinet agreed to cut government jobs as part of a program to stabilise the economy, the Information Ministry said.

File Photo: A street vendor displays Zimbabwean national flags for sale in Harare. Zimbabwe’s main opposition party said it was well ahead in the first election of the post-Robert Mugabe era and it’s ready to form the next government, as unofficial results began streaming in. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

The measures will help Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube reduce a state wage bill that the International Monetary Fund estimates consumes more than 90 percent of government revenue. Ncube is implementing a series of reforms to steady an economy impaired by almost two decades of mismanagement under former President Robert Mugabe.

The cabinet approved Ncube’s so-called Transitional Stabilisation Programme on Tuesday, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said in a statement emailed from the capital, Harare.

Key features include “rationalisation of the civil service so as to reduce the unsustainable public-sector wage bill,” she said. The program will also seek to eradicate corruption, strengthen Zimbabwe’s balance of payments, simplify tax administration and strengthen fiscal responsibility, she said.