PPC allays concerns over cement shortage in Zimbabwe

PPC Zimbabwe said that it could not speculate about other industry players, but assured the market that their Zimbabwe factories had the ability to supply the existing market with quality products. Photo: Supplied

 

Zimbabwe Digital News

 

PPC Zimbabwe has moved to allay fears of shortages of cement in Zimbabwe, saying that the problem was not concrete, and will soon be a thing of the past. The company released a statement saying it wished to inform Zimbabweans, and stakeholders that the current cement shortage was not permanent.

Cement shortages have made front page news in Zimbabwe, leaving the construction industry stranded, and forcing companies, and builders into black market to source building materials.

Surveys by newspapers this week showed that PPC and Lafarge were out of stock in most retail outlets and building material warehouses in most towns and cities. The two companies control more than 70 percent of the country’s cement market.

The cement industry in Zimbabwe has the capacity to produce over 2 million tons of cement per annum, adequate to satisfy domestic demand where current market needs are estimated at 1.3 million tons.

PPC Zimbabwe said that the company was currently operating at peak capacity utilisation following the planned annual kiln maintenance undertaken in July at their Colleen Bawn factory in preparation for the increased demand anticipated towards the latter part of the year.

“PPC Zimbabwe remains committed to support government’s infrastructure development programme and our loyal customers. The annual maintenance has achieved its objectives of unlocking efficiencies and optimising production,” the statement said.

The statement quoted Kelibone Masiyane, PPC Zimbabwe MD saying that while PPC “… cannot speculate about what is going on in other industry players, (PPC) would like to assure the market that our Zimbabwe factories have the ability to supply the existing market with quality products”.

“As a reflection of our continued commitment to Zimbabwe, we commissioned a $85 million Harare milling plant in March 2017 in anticipation of upsurge in the cement demand. This investment has allowed us to fully serve the growing northern market of Zimbabwe better and more efficiently,” added Masiyane.

With regards to the escalating cement prices in the market, PPC Zimbabwe said it wanted to assure customers and stakeholders in Zimbabwe that their factory prices had not increased since April 2012 in support of the country’s developmental objectives.

“As a company, we appeal to our customers to avoid panic buying as this is likely to compound the situation. We are continuously engaging our retailers, to act responsibly with regards to cement pricing in the market. We further advise customers to procure their cement requirements from our approved stockists,” Masiyane said.

PPC Zimbabwe has implemented various initiatives, to mitigate the liquidity situation in the country. These initiatives include exporting only 2% of their production capacity to neighbouring countries, and local sourcing of input materials to ensure that the domestic cement supply was not compromised.

 

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