‘No need to import cement into Zimbabwe’
THE country’s leading cement manufacturer, PPC Zimbabwe says they will continuously invest in their operations through maintenance and capital development programmes to ensure excellent product quality and adequate supply in the market.
PPC Zimbabwe has a capacity to produce 1,4 million tons of cement per annum and against this background in April, the company underwent a 45-day planned shutdown at their Colleen Bawn plant which was successfully completed in May and production is now underway.
Following a snap survey undertaken by the Sunday Business in Bulawayo where some hardware and cement suppliers’ stores have indicated that they were out of cement, PPC Zimbabwe head of sales and marketing, Mr Nkosana Mapuma said combined with the other cement manufacturers in Zimbabwe, manufactures had more than enough cement to cater for the needs of Zimbabwe.
“We anticipate smooth operations for the rest of the year.
The production capacity of PPC Zimbabwe, combined with the other cement manufacturers in Zimbabwe is more than enough to cater for the needs of Zimbabwe, with excess for exports, as we did in the past.
There is no need to allocate much needed foreign currency towards importation of cement from the region,” Mr Mapuma said.
He said their cement volumes increased for the year ended 31 March 2022, driven by ongoing infrastructure development projects.
Mr Mapuma said the company maintains a positive outlook for the current financial year, premised on upcoming development projects and a buoyant housing construction market.
“Our pricing as manufacturers is determined by cost of production.
For as long as our costs of production are stable, there will be no need for price increases, for example, our bag of 32,5N cement (Surecem) lands at a retail store for US$8,85 inclusive of VAT.
We expect pricing from reputable hardware shops to be within reason,” he added.
He said they have supplied cement for most of the iconic structures in Zimbabwe like Tokwe Mukosi Dam, Victoria Falls Airport, Lake Gwayi-Shangani, Hwange Thermal, Kariba Dam and road rehabilitation projects in the country, among others.
“As part of our broader strategy we have committed to invest in technologies and capital projects in our factories to ensure that our business continues to meet and exceed our customers’ demand.
Since the start of this year alone, the company has already laid out millions in US dollars towards the refurbishment of its Kiln at Colleen Bawn.
This exercise will allow for increased productivity and efficiencies throughout our manufacturing process,” said Mr Mapuma.
Meanwhile, Sino-Zimbabwe Cement, the third largest manufacturer of cement, has also increased production in response to rising demand.
Last Thursday, after touring of three top manufacturing companies in the Midlands Province — Sino Zimbabwe Cement, Lesaffre Zimbabwe that produces yeast and the giant Bata Shoe Company, President Mnangagwa applauded the great strides made by local businesses in scaling up domestic production with a focus on exports.
The President commended Sino Cement company and other Chinese investors for investing in Zimbabwe.
He said Sino Cement, was now operating at 90 percent capacity and employing 320 people.
The company has further diversified into high quality face brick and tensile brick production.
The President said such diversification was benefiting from the boom in the construction industry, which has seen a huge investment in roads and housing, among other projects.