The Sunday News
Rutendo Nyeve, Sunday News Reporter
CEMENT producers in Zimbabwe have said they have enough production capacity to meet the demands of the country.
This was revealed by Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC) Zimbabwe Managing Director Mr Kelibone Masiyane while briefing the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Industry and Commerce this Wednesday which was visiting their offices in Bulawayo.
The visit by the committee was part of its fact-finding visits to cement manufacturing industries.
“As the cement manufacturing industry we do have enough capacity to meet the demands of the country. We however some time last year had an unfortunate incident were Lafarge cement had an accident that led to the closure of the plant while we were also having major maintenance works. Hence we had two major players down leading to a shortage. However, as the cement industry we have the capacity,” said Mr Masiyane.
Meanwhile the Portfolio committee’s chairperson Cde Joshua Sacco said their fact finding visit gave them an opportunity to have an appreciation of the cement manufacturing industry as well as understand their challenges.
“The main reason of our visit is to look at capacity as in do we as a country have the capacity to produce cement as you know there is a lot of construction being done around the country. There is a perception that we do not have enough cement in the country so as a committee we have been looking at this to say do we have enough capacity to produce as Zimbabwe. We are looking at pricing as well as quality issues,” said Cde Sacco
He said while government had done well to support the industry, there were some issues which the committee will approach relevant authorities to find lasting solutions and reduce costs of production.
“We have come across a number of issues that we feel government should address and come on board. We are very happy to report that at Lafarge they have received support from government, they have installed a vertical mill. PPC has also received support from government in establishing a milling plant in Harare. So we see that there is close interaction between government and business. However, there is need to look into revamping the National Railways of Zimbabwe to reduce the cost of logistics. Issues of energy supply are some of the issues we came across. Hence we will engage the relevant authorities,” he said.
PPC is the largest cement manufacturer in the country with a capacity of 1.4 million tons per annum. Lafarge-Holcim, SINO, Livetouch and Pacstar add on to the list.