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Friday, July 12, 2024

Construction sector receives boost

Story by Stanley James, Business Editor

ZIMBABWE’s infrastructure development agenda has been boosted after cement-producing companies assured the nation of adequate supplies through increased production.  

An assessment tour of the manufacturing sector by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce ahead of the SADC Industrialisation Week which will be held later this month has revealed improved cement supplies after the nation experienced commodity shortages last year.            
Challenges faced by cement-producing firms are now a thing of the past after government interventions.

“We are taking relevant steps to ensure that we sustain the domestic market considering that production is increasing so it is a boost for the local construction and infrastructure development while the focus is on lowering costs,” said PPC Zimbabwe managing director,  Mr Albert Sigei.
“We are back in the market remember there have been constraints in the market but indeed in terms of projects, we have managed to cover a lot. Our biggest cost driver is power, if it is reliable then that will further increase output, we are still importing clinker but if that is solved through our current initiatives we are confident of better production trends,” Cement chief executive officer, Mr Innocent Chikwata Khaya.              

The government will also address the influx of counterfeit cement on the domestic market, with revelations the move is prejudicing the economy of over US$19 million a year.

“We have taken into consideration the needs of the sector especially when it comes to imports, this is an issue that will be assessed and the fact that we are seeing more firms willing to invest in the domestic market will positively affect the market,” said the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Industry and Commerce  Dr Thomas Utete Wushe.  
The local cement landscape is pinning hopes for sustained production on stable economic conditions and power supplies, including low production costs.     

Expectations are high that cement supplies continue to increase and translate to stable prices for the commodity.

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