Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
Cooperation between Government and the private sector must be increased to meet targets set under the policies crafted to attain national development goals, President Mnangagwa said yesterday after touring PPC Zimbabwe milling plant in Harare’s Sunway City Industrial Park.
The company was already making cement in Colleen Bawn and Bulawayo before opening the Harare factory in 2017.
The National Development Strategy gives priority to the private sector in increasing manufacturing and wealth, while the Government boosts infrastructure and ensures the private sector can access resources.
“My Government remains committed to engaging the private sector through tours and visits such as this one as these enable us to collectively reflect on the course we are taking,” said the President.
“Under the Second Republic, we are accelerating private sector-driven economic growth and prosperity. There is no ‘us and them’. Together let us redouble our efforts to leapfrog the attainment of our national development targets as outlined in both the Transitional Stabilisation Plan and the National Development Strategy.
“I look forward to more invitations from industry and commerce in the near future in our quest to ensure development that leaves no one behind.”
Following the success of the TSP that brought stability in the economy, President Mnangagwa launched the NDS1, a five-year economic blueprint that runs from 2021-2025 to lead efforts to create a middle income economy by 2030.
President Mnangagwa said the cement industry had a critical role to play in the economy as infrastructure development was one of the enablers for modernisation, industrialisation and provision of services for economic growth.
“The anticipated massive growth of road, dam and housing construction projects entails that our cement production, which is an indispensable ingredient in infrastructure development, expands in tandem with the projected demand,” he said.
President Mnangagwa acknowledged that the cement industry was facing challenges such as competition from imports.
Government will continue to craft measures to ensure continued viability of the cement industry.
The President challenged the industry to adopt latest production technologies that will be competitive on international markets.
“I exhort the industry to ride on our Education 5.0 Model, the innovation hubs and industrial parks within our institutions of higher learning for import substitution,” he said.
Institutions of higher learning have huge potential to help transform the country.
The University of Zimbabwe has already patented 70 products this year.
Guided by the devolution agenda and anticipated development within provinces and districts, President Mnangagwa challenged PPC to ensure that quality products were easily accessible and affordable to all market segments throughout the country.
Results of a survey commissioned by Government to assess the provinces GDPs and per capita GDPs would be made public soon.
PPC managing director Mr Kelibone Masiyane said the company had confidence in Zimbabwe and thanked Government for the initiatives that have now stabilised the economy.
“We as PPC Zimbabwe have shown confidence in the development and success of the Zimbabwean economy. Through significant investment, PPC has cemented their role in the growth of the economy.
“The Harare plant is one such project that has played a part in showing our belief of Zimbabwe’s potential. We are proud to have successfully launched the PPC SureRange of products which carries six distinct types of cement each with its unique qualities and range of uses,” he said.
Mr Masiyane added that the company has been the leading supplier of cement products for major national projects like the Hwange Thermal Power expansion, the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport expansion, several road rehabilitation projects that include the Harare-Beitbridge highway and the expansion of the Beitbridge Border Post.
“We have embarked on going green by investing close to US$50 million towards setting up solar farms in Gwanda and Bulawayo. The land has already been procured and commencement discussions are at an advanced stage.
“We anticipate an output of close to 32MW at Colleen Bawn in Gwanda and 10MW in Bulawayo that will be shared with our Harare factory. This will reduce the burden on the national grid. We have invested a further US$5,2 million on environmental sustainability initiatives for 2021 at our Colleen Bawn factory,” said Mr Masiyane.
The company has been operating in Zimbabwe since 1913 and has three plants in Harare, Gwanda and Bulawayo.
The plant in Harare was opened in 2017 following an investment of over $82 million.