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Government initiates measures to address cement shortages

Government initiates measures to address cement shortages

Story by Owen Mandovha, Business Reporter

THE government has liberalised the importation of cement in the wake of production challenges being faced by the country’s two leading producers.

The acute shortage of cement has seen dealers in the commodity capitalising on the dire situation by hiking prices amid concerns that if unabated, the situation may hamper the growth of the construction industry which has been on an upward trajectory.

Vice President of the Zimbabwe Building and Construction Association (ZBCA) Dr Tinashe Manzungu said of late demand for cement has outstripped supply by huge proportions.

“The industry has faced persistent challenges of cement availability. What is happening is that dealers are taking advantage of the situation by hiking prices of cement and sometimes by 100 per cent, hence we implore the government to find measures to ease the situation,” he said.

Industry and Commerce Deputy Minister, Honorable Roy Bhila revealed that plans are underway to improve the cement supply situation within two weeks.

“Two of our leading cement producers in Lafarge and Sino are having problems with production issues, hence we have given them import licences to ensure that we have no shortages while they are attending to their situation. I can tell you that the situation will be back to normal within the next two weeks,” he said.

Zimbabwe’s combined annual cement production capacity stands at 2,6 million tonnes while demand has been steadily rising over the years due to the construction boom currently underway.

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