ZIMBABWE is splashing millions of dollars importing soil for making bricks, a situation which further puts pressure on the country’s dwindling foreign currency reserves, Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) has said.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
Giving his presentation recently at the Bulawayo Investment Conference, CZI Matabeleland chapter chairperson, Joseph Gunda said it was appalling that the country was importing soil, which was readily available locally.
“One area I was looking at is brick-making. When I was walking in and when you look at the front of this building (Mpala Events Conference Centre) there is a yellow brick, but the yellow brick is imported, it is coming from South Africa,” Gunda said.
“We are importing soil in instance. Why should we import soil because we have got plenty of soil here in Bulawayo? We have got McDonald Bricks, we have got another Chinese company out there manufacturing bricks.”
Gunda said there were plenty of opportunities for companies in the brick-making industry to venture into this business.
“There is an opportunity for us because this is market-driven business and there is appetite by our community to like the yellow brick. So definitely there is an opportunity in manufacturing of this yellow brick,” he said.
He said there were also opportunities for import substitution.
“For example, in the rubber industry, we are the sole manufacturers (General Beltings) of conveyor belts in Zimbabwe, supplying various mines and manufacturing units, but we need to import fabrics from South Africa,”
“The South Africans imports it from here, they take it down and then they beneficiate it and form fabric, which we import and we are saying this is an opportunity for import substitution. There is an opportunity for setting up a fabric factory in Zimbabwe,” he said.