HARARE – The cement supply situation in Zimbabwe is gradually returning to normalcy, thanks to measures implemented by the government to address reported shortages.
Information, Publicity, and Broadcasting Services Minister Jenfan Muswere provided an update on the improving situation, highlighting steps taken by the government to mitigate the impact of artificial shortages and soaring prices.
Earlier this month, the Cabinet approved the importation of cement by individuals and companies with free funds, aiming to counter the artificial shortages that were affecting the market.
This move was particularly crucial given the extensive infrastructure projects underway, both by the government and private entities.
The shortage had led to concerns about project delays, timeline disruptions, and an increase in project costs.
The government’s decision to allow imports of cement was a response to allegations of dishonest industry players creating an artificial shortage to justify steep price hikes.
Some reports indicated that a bag of cement had risen to as much as US$20, up from the usual local cost of around US$9.
Minister Muswere stated, “Cabinet reports that PPC continues to supply the market, producing 120,000 tonnes per month. The price of cement is currently pegged at US$9.34 per 50kg bag to the retailers.”
“Sino Cement Zimbabwe started to supply the market as at 21st November 2023. The company is dispatching 1,000 tonnes per day at a price of US$9.25 per 50kg bag.”
He continued, “Khaya Cement has also resumed operations. Furthermore, 713 companies have been allowed to import cement giving a total tonnage of 200,000 tonnes, of which 461 have collected the licences.”
“Government continues to monitor the situation and the public will be kept abreast of the matter as it develops.”
The government’s intervention is seen as crucial not only for stabilizing the construction industry but also for ensuring that infrastructure development projects progress smoothly without undue disruptions.
The public will be keenly watching how these measures impact the availability and pricing of cement in the coming weeks.