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Zimbabwe grapples with cement shortages


The Zimbabwean government on Friday engaged cement manufacturers and other players in the supply chain over cement shortages in the country.

“This has been in response to the shortages that we have experienced following a boom in the construction industry,” Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry and Commerce Thomas Utete Wushe said at a press conference in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, after a meeting with manufacturers and other players in the cement supply chain.

The shortage of cement over the past two months has resulted in price increases from about 10.5 U.S. dollars for a 50-kg bag to around 19 dollars due to a variety of reasons, including subdued local production, growing demand and the expiry of import licenses issued earlier.

Utete Wushe said the short-term solution is to import cement immediately to plug the shortages, adding that authorities are issuing licenses for imports. “The long-term solution is obviously to engage with the current manufacturers so that they can invest more in their capacity, and also encourage players to set up more plants to cover our annual demand.”

The sharp increase in cement prices negatively impacted the real estate sector, which is currently witnessing a boom in both residential and commercial segments.

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