President Emmerson Mnangagwa anticipates an exponential growth in the construction industry in the medium term as the country embarks on its re-industrialization agenda expected to bring rich pickings for building material producers.
The construction industry has endured a subdued 2020 largely due to a lackluster performance of the economy which has taken a toll on many projects across the sector.
Despite major setbacks during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, the construction industry has somewhat gradually found its footing, evident of numerous national and private projects underway across the country.
Speaking during a tour of a French-owned construction products company, Saint-Gobain Construction Products Zimbabwe, Mnangagwa said the sector is at the core of the country’s development agenda.
“The visit to this plant is timely given the ongoing boom on our construction industry and the economy as a whole. The construction industry and the built environment is indeed an important indicator of the level of investment and economy activity within any country. Zimbabwe is a developing country and for a country to develop it needs construction, it must be built,” Mnangagwa said.
He added, “I thus challenge players in the construction industry to leverage in the construction industry both locally and regionally. Africa is on the move, it’s sleeping giant which had been clamped and is now waking up. As it wakes up and grows it requires the construction industry.”
Earlier this year, Saint Gobain officially commissioned a USD$ 1 million Weber plant for tile adhesives In Harare’s Msasa industrial area.
The commissioning of the plant ushered in over 100 percent increase in production from 7 000 tonnes to 15 000 tonnes per annum production capacity of tile adhesive.
But negative growth in the economy remains the biggest challenge for constructors and their suppliers with inflation soaring high beyond the 700 percent mark year on year.
The company’s operations in Zimbabwe were founded in 1959 as Gypsum Industries. The company changed its name to BPB Gypsum in 2003, then Saint-Gobain Construction Products Zimbabwe in 2018.