THE disbursement of the Distressed Industries and Marginalised Areas Fund (Dimaf) has increased to $19 million from $13 million although industries in Bulawayo continue singing the blues due to low capitalisation.
According to the Mid-Term Policy Review statement recently presented by the Finance minister Tendai Biti, as of end of May, Bulawayo had received $11,9 million representing 61% of all the funds disbursed followed by Harare at 30%, Goromonzi 4%, and the remainder shared equally between Victoria Falls and Chegutu.
Bulawayo industries, despite receiving a bigger share of the fund, however, continue in the doldrums with 64 companies reported to be on the verge of collapse.
Local companies like General Belting Holdings, who received $1 million from Dimaf continue to battle with low capitalisation largely due to antiquated machinery, huge debts and high cost of labour.
Bulawayo industries in the same period received $3,3 million representing 8% from another government credit facility — the Zimbabwe Economic and Trade Revival Facility (ZETREF).
Disbursements under ZETREF rose to $42,2 million from the December 2012 amount of $27 million out of cumulative approved projects worth $68,3 million.
Harare received the majority of the stake of $25,7 million representing 61% of the funds, while Mutare was given $4,6 million constituting 11% while Gweru was allocated $3 million representing 7% of the disbursement.
“Access to this facility has allowed some beneficiaries who were on the brink of collapse to recover while others have also increased their capacity utilisation as well as maintaining their employment levels,” Biti in his Mid-Term Policy Review statement said.
The government in its 2013 national budget set up a $15 million Micro, Small-and-Medium Enterprises Facility.
Biti said the disbursements of the fund to date amounted to $8,7 million. Of the disbursement, $6,2 million was allocated to small-and-medium enterprises and $2,5 million to micro enterprises.
Despite benefiting from all these credit facilities, industry in Bulawayo continues to battle with low capitalisation, chiefly because of financial constraints. Industry in the city needs $73 million to fully recapitalise.