In­dus­try lob­by­ists rope in col­leges to as­sess Gweru firms

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle - Love­more Zi­gara

IN­DUS­TRY lobby body, Con­fed­er­a­tion of Zim­babwe In­dus­tries (CZI) has en­gaged ter­tiary learn­ing in­sti­tu­tions in the Mid­lands to carry out a re­search on the state of the in­dus­tries in the prov­ince.

The re­search which will be un­der­taken by Gweru and Kwekwe polytech­nic col­leges comes amid a spate of com­pany clo­sures in the Mid­lands prov­ince which is home to some heavy in­dus­tries linked to the min­ing sec­tor.

Find­ings and rec­om­men­da­tions of the re­search will be pre­sented to Vice Pres­i­dent Emmerson Mnan­gagwa’s of­fice.

CZI Mid­lands cham­ber pres­i­dent Mr Mathias Ruziwa said: “As CZI we’ve part­nered with our lo­cal aca­demic in­sti­tu­tions – Gweru Polytech­nic Col­lege and Kwekwe Polytech­nic Col­lege to come up with a re­search on the state of Mid­lands in­dus­try.

“Once they’re done with the ex­er­cise we’ll have a launch on the out­come and rec­om­men­da­tions of the re­search to be pre­sented to Vice Pres­i­dent Emmerson Mnan­gagwa’s of­fice,” he said.

“The re­search will look at the cur­rent state of the Mid­lands in­dus­try cov­er­ing ar­eas such as com­pany clo­sures, ca­pac­ity util­i­sa­tion lev­els in the in­dus­try and com­pa­nies which are re­tool­ing.

“The re­search also cov­ers com­pa­nies that are do­ing well among other points of ref­er­ence,” added Ruziwa.

Of­fi­cial fig­ures from the Min­istry of In­dus­try and Com­merce show that 13 ma­jor com­pa­nies in the prov­ince have closed down since 2009, leav­ing about 4 185 job­less.

Some of the com­pa­nies on the clo­sures list are Zis­cos­teel, Zim­glass, Mike Ap­pel and Lan­cashire Steel.

Cap­tains of in­dus­try in the Mid­lands have lamented the pre­vail­ing eco­nomic cli­mate like liq­uid­ity con­straints, high power tar­iffs and un­cer­tainty say­ing such fac­tors were im­ped­ing growth and de­vel­op­ment of in­dus­tries.

De­spite the eco­nomic chal­lenges be­ing ex­pe­ri­enced, the Mid­lands prov­ince has in re­cent years reg­is­tered new in­vest­ments such as Le­saf­fre Group which has taken over took over An­chor Yeast, as well as Africa Chrome Fields which has in­vested in fer­rochrome pro­duc­tion while Port­nex In­ter­na­tional is leas­ing three fur­naces at Zi­masco.

In ad­di­tion, Ad­vance Africa is set­ting up a plas­tic bot­tle man­u­fac­tur­ing plant in Kwekwe and an in­dus­trial park while Life Touch which wants to ven­ture into ce­ment man­u­fac­tur­ing in Red­cliff have breathed life into the Mid­lands.

Gi­ant firms in the prov­ince such as Bata Shoe Com­pany, Sino Zim­babwe Ce­ment Com­pany, Mid­lands Met­als, Dendairy and Steel­mak­ers have raised ca­pac­ity util­i­sa­tion to an av­er­age of 75 per­cent.— @lavuzi­gara1.

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