The article examines the phenomenon of growth points in Zimbabwe.
The growth point strategy inter alia aims to decongest urban centres by
elevating some business centres to growth point status in order to curb
rural and urban migration with work opportunities and the provision
of basic essential services available at growth points. The growth point
strategy was first introduced in Zimbabwe soon after independence in
1980 with the aim of transforming rural service and business centres
into vibrant economic hubs for rural development. Consequently,
some public services traditionally found in towns and cities have been
decentralised to enable local communities to access such services at
the growth points. Residential areas were also established at the growth
points in order to accommodate business expansion. Only a few of the
more than 50 growth points located in different provinces of the country
have been successful.
Nevertheless, the idea which captured the euphoria of independence
ushered in serious challenges on public service delivery at the newly
established growth centres. The article also identifies the constraints that
hamper effective and efficient public service delivery at growth points and
attempts to determine the impact and implications of the growth point
policy on public service delivery. It provides some solutions for the revival
and resuscitation of the growth point strategy to reduce urban congestion.
The strategy augurs very well with the aspirations of rural communities and has the potential of transforming them into ‘nave-centres’ of economic