BY CHIEDZA KOWO
FINANCE minister Mthuli Ncube says government is working around the clock to address the macro-economic environment in the country.
Top among his most immediate concerns was stabilising the exchange rate and inflation.
Ncube revealed this in an interview on the sidelines of the recent commissioning of Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe’s US$2,8 million dry mortar plant in the capital.
He said Treasury had given Lafarge’s US$25 million three-phased plant expansion project national project status to facilitate duty-free importation of capital equipment.
The project will also enjoy other incentives.
“We are pleased to have this support in this industry and what I want to do is assure industry that the inflation rate is headed downwards, which augurs well with stability,” Ncube said.
“More foreign currency is available and this stability will do a lot in terms of improving the confidence in our industry. We want more companies to invest in Zimbabwe and expand their operations, but we are very pleased to have supported this specific one.”
Lafarge executives met President Emmerson Mnangagwa in 2019 to discuss expansion prospects.
It was after this meeting that Zimbabwe got an opportunity to have the latest technology imported by the firm, ahead of more than 70 other countries in which Lafarge operates in.
“I was here before. I was the one who lifted the first shovel for the ground breaking so I am pleased that it is now complete and I am looking forward to the second phase. This is a first, I heard the company say we had to compete with other countries, more than 70 countries and we won because of the policies and the vision of His Excellency, especially after the senior executives met with him,” Ncube added.
Lafarge’s new dry mortar plant manufactures value-added building materials commonly known as dry mortars and has capacity to produce 100 000 tonnes per annum.
- Follow Chiedza on Twitter @KowoChiedza