BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
LAFARGE Cement Zimbabwe is committed to supporting the infrastructure development agenda of the country and is currently prospecting another affordable housing project in the Manresa area in Harare, which is set to kick off before year-end.
The company’s spokesperson Tsungie Manyeza told NewsDay in e-mailed responses that the continued strong demand for decent and affordable housing in Zimbabwe was driving the company to providing efficient, sustainable and cost-effective building solutions.
In 2017, the company commissioned an affordable housing project, where 85 low-cost housing units were constructed in Adelaide Park in Harare.
“Following the successful completion of this project, the company has continued to play a significant role in other housing projects as a key building materials provider for cement, aggregates and dry mortars,” Manyeza said.
In 2018, Lafarge partnered government and the private sector on projects to construct 1 127 low-cost housing units and 12 blocks of flats.
“Currently, the company is working on large-scale-affordable housing project models, where Lafarge plays the integral project co-ordination role in a commercial capacity,” she said.
Manyeza said the company was leveraging on its in-depth experience in managing affordable housing programmes over the past few years, including research on sustainable construction solutions.
“Lafarge, therefore, offers the core competencies of co-ordinating sustainable and affordable solutions,” she said.
Manyeza said the company was prospecting another affordable housing project in Manresa, which is set to kick off within a year.
“This project will offer housing models for different income groups within a defined range. The project is set to redefine the affordable housing project outside of the common definition of low-cost, low-income housing,” she said.
Meanwhile, Manyeza said while demand for cement had continued to surge in the first half, cement production levels had been inconsistent due to challenges relating to power supply.
She also said cement production required consistent and good quality electric power supply to operate efficiently.
“Power cuts and power dips lead to equipment failure, which too leads to unplanned down time and higher operating expenses. The company is, therefore, actively engaging relevant stakeholders to explore options for more consistent power supply,” she said.
To date, since 2010, Lafarge has invested in excess of US$40 million in capital projects aimed at improving productivity and efficiency. The company has two mining operations, one in Mbubu in Mashonaland East and the other at Sternblick quarry in Harare.
Lafarge has an installed plant capacity of 500 000 tonnes per annum.