THE Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) will release its 2017 manufacturing sector survey report on Wednesday, amid indications that capacity utilisation will surpass the 47,4% mark achieved in 2016.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
Addressing delegates at a pre-budget meeting in Bulawayo recently, CZI Matabeleland Chapter president, Joseph Gunda said the results were likely to be positive due to the growth experienced by a number of companies this year following government interventions.
The government gazetted Statutory Instrument (SI) 64 of 2016, which removed goods that have local equivalents from the open general import licence.
“The CZI 2016 manufacturing sector survey showed capacity utilisation rising from 34,3% in 2015 to 47,4%,” Gunda said.
“We are currently awaiting the 2017 manufacturing sector survey which will be launched in Harare on October 25, 2017. The expectations are high that an improvement from the current 47,4% will be registered given the positive growth in the various sectors,” he said.
Following the introduction of SI 64, companies in the furniture sector had registered a 15% increase in the demand for flush doors, while those that manufacture mattresses and bedding products registered a 35% increase in demand, CZI president, Sifelani Jabangwe said.
There has been an increase in capacity utilisation in some sectors such as the yeast industry, which was almost closed and is now at 90%; biscuit manufacturing has gone up from 35% to around 75%; furniture sector improved capacity from 45% to 70%; detergent industry has moved from around 30% to 60%; tyre manufacturers have increased their capacity utilisation from 30% to 50%.
The pharmaceutical sector witnessed a growth from 30% to around 60%, Jabangwe said.
The survey provides businesses with a lobbying position and reference point when meeting policymakers and the government with information on obstacles to economic growth as well as possible solutions in designing better economic policy.
The manufacturing sector is grappling with lack of working capital, shortage of cash, inadequate foreign currency for manufacturing companies to import the much-needed raw materials and the continued influx of cheap imported products that are manufactured locally.
The CZI manufacturing report is the most comprehensive private sector-led survey, which assesses industrial performance.
At least 15 economic sub-sectors are surveyed, including clothing and textile, pharmaceuticals, grain and milling, oil among other industrial manufacturing activities.