Firm hailed for supporting mega projects

Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter

President Mnangagwa has praised Khayah Cement for producing and supplying cement towards the massive construction programmes covering roads, dams, energy and housing across the country.

He was speaking while commissioning a vertical mill plant at Khayah Cement (formerly Lafarge) in Harare yesterday.

The new mill plant is under Phase 2 of Khayah’s expansion project. Phase 1 of the company’s expansion project involved installation of a dry mortar mix and agricultural lime plant, and President Mnangagwa commissioned it in April 2021.

The President said Khayah’s expected jump in cement production following the latest investment will go a long way in supporting the Government’s ongoing infrastructure development projects such dam and road construction.

“In the area of infrastructural development, the Second Republic is rolling out programmes and projects to upgrade and modernise the country’s infrastructure, I commend Khayah Cement for playing a critical part, including supplying cement to the ongoing boom of construction programmes such as road rehabilitation, dam construction, energy infrastructure development and housing projects, being undertaken by both the public and private sectors,” he said.

The Second Republic has unleashed massive infrastructure development programmes such as Mbudzi interchange, upgrading of the Harare-Masvingo-Beitbridge highway, Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport modernisation, Kunzvi Dam and Lake Gwayi-Shangani construction.

Other major projects that have been concluded include the Marovanyati Dam and Beitbridge Border Post construction.

President Mnangagwa said by continuing to invest in Zimbabwe, Khayah has shown confidence in the work being done by the Second Republic to transform the economy.

“Since 2021, this company has demonstrated renewed determination to be one of the leaders in complementing the ongoing infrastructural development projects.”

President Mnangagwa added that the policy measures unveiled by the Government continue to bear fruit and the prevailing environment will be consolidated so that investments in the cement industry and other sectors thrive and grow to service local, regional and international markets.

He challenged industry to continue manufacturing and promoting the use of local goods and products in line with the Local Content Strategy.

The new plant is expected to increase the firm’s production output, and boost the cement industry and other downstream sectors as the Second Republic continues to register more milestones in attaining Vision 2030.

“The measures implemented by the Second Republic have consistently created an enabling business environment, making Zimbabwe an easier and more competitive place to do business.

“The Zimbabwe is Open for Business mantra continues to be a success. To bolster our ongoing economic reform efforts, the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency and other relevant institutions will continue to refine the ease-of-doing-business environment, facilitate and promote trade as well as enforce competition law.

“The recent broad range of fiscal and monetary stabilisation measures are bearing positive results.

These measures are ensuring that the country remains on a growth trajectory, as reflected in the recently announced GDP growth figures. Against this background, my Government is ready to welcome more domestic and foreign investors to invest across the various sectors of the economy,” said President Mnangagwa.

He said Zimbabwe is a land of many opportunities, adding that under the Second Republic and the Zanu PF Government, the prevailing environment will be consolidated so that investments across all sectors thrive and grow to service local, regional and indeed international markets.

Khayah was challenged to ensure availability of their products in the rural areas as well, at competitive prices, in line with the Government’s ongoing development that leaves no one and no place behind.

“The successes we have scored in the agriculture and small-scale mining sectors, among others, must translate to an improved quality of housing and business infrastructure in our communal, farming and mining areas.

“Together let us play our part in the modernisation of the livelihoods of our people, as we move more of them out of poverty to a higher quality of life. It is equally important that flagship investments such as this one drive productivity growth, create more jobs, propel import substitution and contribute to the growth of our Gross Domestic Product.

“In keeping with our Local Content Strategy, industry is encouraged to continue manufacturing and promoting the use of our local goods and products. Nyika inovakwa, igotongwa, igonamatigwa nevene vayo/Ilizwe lakhiwa, libuswe, likhulekelwe ngabanikazi balo.”

President Mnangagwa said his administration remained on course towards ensuring robust implementation of NDS1.

“This is premised on accelerating structural transformation of our economy, anchored by harnessing our abundant God-given natural resource endowments. The development of agro and mineral-based value chains, private sector led growth, infrastructural development, realisation of food security and sovereignty, as well as engagement and re-engagement, among others, will be pursed with a greater sense of urgency,” said President Mnangagwa.

The President commended Khayah, noting that the new Vertical Mill Plant, under Phase 2 of the expansion project was a milestone achieved on the back of the successful installation of the Phase 1 Dry Mortar Mix and Agricultural Lime Plant Project.

The plant commissioning, said President Mnangagwa, was equally significant as it was the first since Khayah was acquired by a local consortium in a seamless transition that he said was testimony of the country’s skills, competencies and capacities as a people.

“I commend the consortium for injecting about US$14 million to operationalise the plant. Your commitment to ensure sustainable exploitation, beneficiation, and value addition of the limestone rock is in sync with my Government’s exhortations.

“This is augmented by the adoption of new technologies for increasing production efficiencies, with the potential to raise the company’s cement production capacity from 350 000 to 1 million tonnes per annum, against an average national demand of 1,4 million tonnes,” said President Mnangagwa.

“Act locally and think globally. In this regard, I exhort Khayah Cement Limited to also pursue a robust export-led growth strategy. The enlarged market within our region and under the African Continental Free Trade Area must be fully explored. The broader market allows free movement of goods, services and investments as well as cross-border trade and financial integration across our beloved mother continent, Africa,” he said.

Industry and Commerce Minister, Dr Sekai Nzenza, said the commissioning of the plant was testimony of the Local Content Strategy.

“We are utilising our own natural resources here such as lime. They still have 15 years of lime,” said Minister Nzenza.

Harare Metropolitan Province Permanent Secretary, Mr Tafadzwa Muguti, said they were excited by the corporate social responsibility programmes being carried out by the firm in the community they were operating in.

Khayah chairperson, Mr Kumbirai Katsande, said the new plant has capacity to produce higher grades of their products and make prices competitive.

In an interview, Khayah CEO Mr Innocent Chikwata said the new plant will bring several benefits including energy efficiency.

The workers’ committee chairperson, Mr Maxwell Madhumo, said they were excited by the new plant as it brings hope and certainty to their jobs and comes with it prospects of better working conditions.

The Herald