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The period from 1945 until 1991 is extremely important in terms of the effort undertaken primarily by the citizens of the Gradačac for the purpose of overcoming the significant lagging in the economic and social development of this area inherited from the previous time period. In the period of 1945-1991, a programme of reconstruction of territories devastated by war was carried out, numerous five-year plans were implemented with diverse, but generally positive effects. Various results in the total socio-economic development of the municipality were achieved.
Immediately after the Second World War, the realisation of key projects for the infrastructure was begun mainly employing the municipality’s own resources and voluntary work. The construction of the Gradačac-Modriča railroad was crucial for both economic and social development. In the 50s, this contributed to the general opening up of the Gradačac area towards other regions of Bosnia-Herzegovina, while the construction of the power-transmission line and especially the electrification of the Gradačac province (municipality) were an immeasurable contribution to the improvement of the living standard. However, apart from the railroad and first power-transmission line, in the period of 1945-1960, the desired progress in the economic development of Gradačac was not achieved. Nevertheless, in this particularly difficult period much was done in terms of the reconstruction of communal infrastructure, the repair of the destroyed roads network. Furthermore, trade companies were formed and the development of agriculture, trading and other branches was launched.
The government activities for achieving literacy among the population are of special significance. Because, in 1945 there were only 20 teachers employed in the elementary schools of Gradačac with some 900 pupils, and more than 80% of the population were illiterate. By 1990, the Gradačac municipality had 312 educational workers, 110 assistant workers and over 7000 pupils in the eight-year-long elementary education system.
Along with the development of elementary education during the 60s, the opening of the four-year secondary school, the Higher General Gymnasium, in Gradačac in 1951 was the main facilitator of development of the educational system. Capable professionals were formed: professors, engineers, agronomists, veterinarians, economists, lawyers and professionals in other fields, in order to satisfy the needs o society. In comparison to the educational situation of 1945, by the end of 1991, this branch had reached a level that was worthy of respect, which, reciprocally, had a great impact on the entirety of social reproduction.
Serious steps towards the alternation of the economic and social structure of this region are undertaken during the 60s, and accelerated development is noted after 1970.
In the past century, in the period from the 60s until the 80s, the most significant changes in socio-economic development took place. The foundations for the industrial development of the Gradačac municipality were established by the launching of industrial concerns such as: “Kula” (clothes), “Namještaj” (furniture), production facilities of the Sarajevo Tobacco Factory, Factory of Motor Parts (TMD), “Hempro”, Rubber Products Factory “Ris”, “Bosnaprodukt” (fruit processing factory with a refrigeration plant) and other concerns. Industry becomes the leading branch of the economy. In this period, over 4000 workers are employed in the public sector. Investment increased gradually, which facilitated the construction of important structures s such as:
- the earthen dam on the lake “Hazna”, with the water accumulation capacity of over 800,000 cube meters, and a sports and recreation centre on the grounds surrounding the lake;
- lake dam “Vidara” with the water accumulation capacity of approximately 400,000 cube meters, which eliminated the possibility of devastating floods in this region and contributed to the improvement of water supply to the town and the industry;
- modern water-supply structures for the municipality, and especially for the town of Gradačac, and the installation of the most modern waste water purification system in the town and the industrial zone;
- regulation of the Gradašnica river and the construction of the East and West lateral canal, which contributed to the regulation of the water regime not only in the Gradačac area, but also in the entire Posavina;
- modern motorways and the reconstruction of existing roads in 1968, including the most significant asphalt motorway Gradačac-Ormanica, which connected the municipality to the modern regional motorway Županja-Tuzla-Sarajevo-Mostar-Opuzen, and the modernisation of roads to Modriča, Bosanski Šamac, Gračanica, Orašje, as well as local motorways;
- he construction of asphalt streets in Gradačac and roads towards larger villages (in the 90s, Gradačac had 239.6 km of motorways, of which 40 km were main roads, 44 km were regional roads and 155,6 km were local roads);
- the development of the electrical power supply system where, apart from the construction of the power-transmission network, the necessary sub-stations were also constructed, which enabled the supply of electricity to the entire are of the Gradačac municipality (This provided the economy with sufficient electrical power for its existing capacities and also for the construction of new capacities. In the 90s, the total consumption of electrical energy in Gradačac was 35,000 MWh, of which over 20,000 MWh was household consumption);
- hotel in the town centre and the adaptation of the Tower of Husein-kapetan Gradaščević as an extremely significant and attractive cultural and historical monument, the construction of the “Banja Ilid`a” hotel with 160 beds and other facilities for the use of thermal mineral waters (The construction on these facilities opened a perspective for further development of tourism through spa and health tourism);
- construction of the socio-economic centre “Skenderija” which was necessary for the international economic and tourism manifestation called the “Plum Convention” (the “Day of the Plum” was established in 1969), the literary manifestation “Kikić’s Meetings” (established in 1973 as a literary event of Yugoslav importance) and sports and recreational activities (the women’s volleyball club of Gradačac was a member of the first federal volleyball legue);
- improvement of healthcare according to the requirements of the citizens (Replacing the capacities of a single doctor that cared for the health of the Gradačac population in 1945, a few years after the war the necessary healthcare facilities were constructed and furnished with modern equipment, and in 1990, Gradačac had some 60 highly qualified health workers and a modern Medical Centre with the necessary specialist services).
The development period until the 70s had a slower tempo, but great efforts were undertaken for the purpose of designing a productive orientation for socio-economic development. In that period numerous processing capacities are built, which introduce, with greater or lesser success, new processes and a new approach to production. In the industry, lesser capacities than the ones built elsewhere in Bosnia-Herzegovina are constructed (which will later prove to be a correct and wise approach). And, due to its productivity, the industry became the leading branch in the development of the Gradačac region.
The level of total employment in the public and private sector in the 90s reached the number of some 8000 employed. However, this region was not free of the so-called “grey” economy related to agricultural households. In terms of employment levels and national product and national income, this category of activities is not included in official statistical data. According to realistic estimates, some 5000 workers were involved part-time in this very significant activity sector. This sector also had significant basic means (a great number of vehicles) and substantial financial capital. This was why outsiders often wondered how Gradačac could be an undeveloped area when according to external phenomena (the construction of roads, residential buildings, schools and even economic activities) it does not leave such an impression.
In the field of agriculture (excepting some side-tracks and mistakes) processes of modernisation were conducted as well as the application of the commodities of science and modern technology in production. This took place in the public sector as well as on private estates.
The business of economic organisations was substantially improved. Through the modern organisation of work and modern technology, greater efficiency was achieved. Positive changes were noted in the accepting of expert staff in the organisations of joined work. The Gradačac economy of the 90s achieved the export value of approximately 15 million USD per year, exporting mainly to the West-European market, with a positive foreign-currency influx, considering the extent of export.
The constant efforts of working people with organisational contributions, i.e. donations of means in the form of income portions, and the significant support of the wider socio-political community (beginning in the 70s) in the supply of financial means for a faster material transformation pulled the Gradačac municipality out of the circle of significantly under-developed municipalities by the end of 1979. That is the first occurrence of such achievement in post-war development. Otherwise, according to numerous statistical indications, until the 60s Gradačac was among the 5 least developed municipalities of the 104 municipalities of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
In the 46-year-long period of 1945-1991, Gradačac was rejuvenated in all the areas of socio-economic life. New generations of highly educated people, professional workers, qualified enthusiasts were formed, industry became the leading branch in the development of the Gradačac region, and in agriculture new methods were adopted which enable greater production for the requirements of the population and for the purposes of export.

©Copyright Diwan 2002. Sva prava zadržana.