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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Govt policy spurs growth in granite production

Story by Tarirai Madhuyu

ENTREPRENEURS in the granite production industry are benefiting from the export ban of raw granite and other raw materials.

The Zimbabwean government instituted Statutory Instrument 127 of 2022, which effectively bans the export of raw granite unless authorised by the Minister of Mines and Mining Development to pave way for value-addition.

Local producers of granite products have become the biggest beneficiaries with performance in the industry improving after the government policy intervention.

“The industry has been performing very well especially since when government has banned the export of raw granite. We are now able to acquire them locally unlike in the past when it was difficult due to exports,” said a sculptor, Kimberley Sirivha.

“There is need for government to facilitate funding for this industry. As you well know, granite stone is widely used when constructing since it adds value to any infrastructure. At the moment government has been supporting us through the provision of space to operate from,” noted Granite Division Designs Director, Cosmas Matendere.

UN Comtrade data reveals that in 2022, a raw granite stone was pegged at US$117 per tonne, well below the market rate of US$1000 per tonne of a value added stone.

“This is a viable industry if consistently get support from both government and stakeholders. At the moment we are appealing to ZESA so that they can supply us with adequate electricity so that we can increase production and employment rate in the country,” noted sculptor, Authur Mahuni.

Granite can be cut into slabs which are polished and used in the production of tiles, tombstones, interior pavers, counter tops and elegant exterior designs.

Yet another sculptor, Cosmas Muponda weighed in saying, “Zimbabwe’s black granite is of high quality around the world. This industry is not fully supported expected when looking at how it has developed many structures in the country and beyond. The industry has employed many youths in the country and has played a pivotal role in improving people.”

Government is encouraging companies to set up value addition and beneficiation factories to increase revenue from granite exports, mainly to South Africa and Europe.

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