Power supply surge spurs industry

By Rungano Dzikira

The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industry (CZI), says the surge in power supply to industry in the last quarter of 2019 has set a momentum for an upward trend in capacity utilisation for the manufacturing sector in 2020.

Industry capacity utilisation has been in a downward trend since 2000 due lack of access to funds for capitalisation, power cuts and inability to retool.

Officiating at a conference to review the industry capacity utilisation for 2019 in the capital on Wednesday, CZI Chief Executive Officer, Sekai Kuvarika told delegates that a surge in power supply was set to increase production.

“We have had a shortage of power which affected industry so much. However, following consultations with government, there is a surge in power supply for industry. We see it having a positive effect on the capacity utilisation for the manufacturing sector,” she said.

The capacity utilisation survey results are set to be released in the first quarter of 2020, reviewing the 2019 financial year.

Adding on, Kuvarika expressed industry’s delight at Government’s implementation of the Zimbabwe National Industrial Development Policy and the Local Content Strategy which she says will help increase capacity utilisation, strengthen industrial value chains, job creation and export-led industrialisation.

“Treasury recently capitalised the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) with ZWL$240 million to enable it undertake its mandate effectively.”

CZI’s delight in the surge of power supply stems from Government’s commitment to alleviate power supply constraints through the rehabilitation and expansion of Hwange Thermal Power Station to the tune of ZWL$8.4 billion as well as supporting alternative sources of energy such as solar power projects through various fiscal incentives relating to importation of equipment and respective accessories.

Apart from that, ZESA seeks to raise the local resource component through cost recovery tariff model, while Government through the RBZ will assist in mobilising the requisite foreign currency from the market towards industry revival.