‘Non-compliance with govt statutes slows Bulawayo’s industrial revival’ 

Source: ‘Non-compliance with govt statutes slows Bulawayo’s industrial revival’ – The Southern Eye

GENERAL Beltings Holdings Limited managing director, Joseph Gunda,  has said the failure to comply with statutes regarding the operations of industry was greatly affecting the revival of Bulawayo’s industrial hub.

He made the remarks on Thursday last week during the tour of GB Holdings conveyor belts manufacturing industry in Donnington, Bulawayo by the Special Advisor to the President Joram Gumbo.

 

Gunda said most of the problems faced by industry emanated from failure to adhere to statutory instruments (SIs).

“We have been privileged and honoured to have received the Special Advisor to the President and how they have picked General Beltings, which is the key to the economy and Zimbabwe’s manufacturing sector. We are sole manufacturers of conveyor belts in Zimbabwe,” Gunda said.

“We face challenges and a lot of these are emanating from non-compliance (with) statutes that have been placed by the government. We have an SI in place; SI 126 of 2014 which we feel is not being followed resulting in us losing demand for our product.”

 

Statutory Instrument 126 of 2014 prohibits the importation of locally available rubber products under the Open General Import Licence.

Gunda called for government intervention to ensure statutes are put into practice.

“We have got a low order book with factories on and off because we do not have orders for conveyor belts but we see on the other hand an increase in the importation of conveyor belts and we are appealing to the government to support us in terms of ensuring the SI that it put in place to support companies like GB is implemented,” Gunda said.

“We believe this company is the anchor to the mining sector, there is no mining company in Zimbabwe which does conveyor belts, and conveyor belts are used in the mining sector predominantly, manufacturing sector, agricultural sector, quarrying and construction, among others.”

 

 

Gunda said the company had the potential to reduce the inputs of the product they manufacture, adding that he believed they had offered value to their customers by improving their lead times by stocking raw materials.

“We have sharpened our pencils in terms of pricing and we believe we are now competitive against bona fide South African competitors who are our competitors in essence as we are the sole manufacturers in Zimbabwe,” he said.

Meanwhile, Gumbo said the visit to GB Holdings presented yet another opportunity to closely assess the impact of government initiatives to resuscitate and restore Bulawayo province to the industrial hub status.

He said the government had come up with plans to assist distressed companies.

“It is, therefore, not a coincidence that my office identified GB Holdings as one of the companies to be on the itinerary during this series of visits.

“The government through the Ministry of Industry and Commerce has crafted strategies’ targeted at the revival of ailing industries. These include the promulgation of SI 126 of 2014 which prohibits the importation of locally available rubber products under the open general import licence, the setting up of a distressed industries marginalised areas fund and the Matabeleland industries retooling loan facility to financially assist distressed companies.”

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