Zimbabwe’s leading cement manufacturing company PPC Zimbabwe has decried high operating costs that render their products uncompetitive on the regional market, calling for government intervention and save the situation.
Addressing journalist after the commissioning of PPC Zimbabwe Harare manufacturing plant by President Robert Mugabe on Thursday, the company’s Managing Director Kelibone Masiyane said operational costs were relatively high in Zimbabwe as compared to other countries in the region.
“In Zimbabwe electricity costs 0.14 cents per KWh while in Zambia it costs 0.06 cents so already that makes our products uncompetitive on the market, so we are appealing to government to look into it and help our cause,” said Masiyane.
Addressing guests attending the opening ceremony, Minister of Industry and Commerce, Mike Bimha expressed government commitment to ensuring that companies like PPC Zimbabwe operate in a conducive environment so that they can get a fair return on their investment.
“We will also continue to support the industry through legislation such as Statutory Instrument 125 of 2016 in order to control cheap cement imports,” said Bimha.
President Mugabe in his keynote address said Zimbabwe’s indigenization policy was not a hindrance to foreign investment saying companies that comply will be protected by the government.
“PPC Zimbabwe has demonstrated what so many companies are struggling to put in place
It has demonstrated also that the indigenization policy and philosophy is no hindrance to foreign investment. But instead the policy guarantees security of such investment,” said Mugabe.
PPC Zimbabwe’s new Harare plant was funded to the tune of US$82 million and is expected to produce 700 000 tonnes of cement annually with a combined capacity of 1.8 million tonnes from its three plants in the country.
“The PPC Harare plant is a 700 000 tonnes per annum, world class facility, which boasts cutting edge technology in the cement industry
“We are excited to add Harare factory to our existing portfolio of operations at Colleen Bawn and in Bulawayo with PPC Bulawayo and Harare factories set to have a combined annual capacity of 1.8 million tonnes of cement in Zimbabwe,” said PPC Zimbabwe chairman, Todd Moyo.
He further noted that his company faces challenges related to cheap imports being dumped on the local market but was quick to acknowledge government support through its protectionist policies.