Engineering sector emerges as major driver of Byo’s economic growth

BY ZBC Reporter

The engineering sector in Bulawayo has scaled up operations and is poised for growth, in the wake of a reliable supply of raw materials from steelmakers from the Midlands province.

The development comes as a timely boost with the growth of provincial industries key to the success of the national devolution agenda under the Second Republic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a number of companies scaling down operations as they try to comply with the new normal, with access to raw materials becoming a key factor in production.

However, the increase in production by steel makers in the Midlands province is a game-changer for Bulawayo’s engineering sector which is now getting over 70 per cent of steel locally, resulting in improved production.

One such company is Mealie Brand which produces farm implements with continued production ensuring that farmers have adequate tools despite challenges posed by Covid-19.

The firm’s managing director, Mr Walter Chigwada said while they are exporting over 50 per cent of their products to the SADC region, the local market has enough stock to supply local farmers.

“We are the major suppliers of farm implements not only in Zimbabwe but the SADC region and because we are now getting the bulk of our raw materials locally thanks to the steelmakers in the Midlands, we have increased production to account for the needs of all farmers as we move towards the farming season. The implements are on high demand and we have them on the stock.”

Mr Chigwada said their operations are in line with the national aspirations of the second republic under devolution as they are a big part of the Bulawayo economy, forming the basis of the city’s gross domestic product.

Recently the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Cde Judith Ncube said modalities for establishing Bulawayo’s Gross Domestic Product are underway.

She assured the Bulawayo community that in line with President Mnangagwa’s vision of provincial-based economic growth, the city will not disappoint.