Harare - Zimbabwe’s Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere
has praised Pretoria Portland Cement [JSE:PPC]
(PPC) for its continued investment in Zimbabwe despite the empowerment law which demands 51% local ownership.
Speaking at the company’s centenary celebrations were he was a guest, Kasukuwere said PPC had set an example to all foreign investors that Zimbabwe is a safe investment destination.
“Their investment plans in Mashonaland Central, well after the completion of a systematic process of compliance with the indigenisation legislation, are a testimony that the indigenisation programme is not a setback to foreign investment,” said Kasukuwere.
PPC Limited CEO Ketso Gordhan told the centenary celebrations, that the company was committed to Zimbabwe as they are confident the country will be a strong growth story in the next four to five years.
“In the next 18-24 months, cement demand is expected to improve and we are responding to that by building a new plant,” said Gordhan.
PPC Zimbabwe MD Zak Limbada said: "Not only will this investment address the expected future increase in cement demand in Zimbabwe, but create employment opportunities, beneficiation of the country's mineral reserves, and a significant growth opportunity for our indigenisation partners."
Limbada said the group had recently taken over a surplus National Railways of Zimbabwe Warehouse on Park Road in Mutare and established a cement depot in the city, while another had been set in Masvingo.
The group would add warehousing capacity in Bulawayo in preparation for a future increase in tonnage. Current production was at 3 000 tonnes a day.
PPC is set to build a new cement plant in Zimbabwe
. The company commands 57% of the market share in the country, with national cement output at 1.5 million tonnes.
This represents growth of close to 15% since dollarisation, and has already passed the previous peak of 1.1 million achieved in the late 1990s. Rival Lafarge’s output is on 430 000t and Sino is on 250 000t.
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