Constructors call for tax breaks

THE Zimbabwe Building Contractors Association (ZBCA) this week called for State-backed loan guarantees, saying the sector was struggling to access cheap funding for big projects.

ZBCA chief executive officer Joyline Zindanga told businessdigest the majority of companies were struggling to secure loans due to limited credit history or collateral. 

“We advocate for government-backed loan guarantees considering that we need to invest in the acquisition of equipment as an industry,” she said.

“Limited access to credit constrains our members’ ability to undertake large projects. These projects are capital intensive and require patient money. 

“A significant portion of the construction industry operates informally, leading to safety concerns and poor quality standards. Slow uptake of innovative construction technologies reduces efficiency and productivity in the sector,” she said.

In a bid to promote efficiency and improvement in business practice, among the construction industry players and their stakeholders, ZBCA in conjunction with Passions Events, will host the Zimbabwe Builders, Construction and Contractors Expo next month.

In its latest report, EFE Securities said with high taxes and inflation eroding disposable incomes, the construction sector was likely to witness a slowdown this year. 

"This could further dent employment and dampen consumer confidence, creating a vicious cycle. Targeted government interventions and infrastructure development efforts could provide a much-needed boost to keep the sector afloat," it said. 

The research firm also noted that housing remained a significant area of potential growth.

"Major road construction projects, like the Harare-Chirundu highway upgrade, and the rehabilitation of rural feeder roads are injecting much-needed stimulus into the sector,” it said.

"Government initiatives like the national housing delivery programme and private sector investments in affordable housing projects are creating a steady demand for construction services.”

The Construction Industry Federation of Zimbabwe (Cifoz) said the introduction of sustainable smart building innovations in Zimbabwe was a step in the right direction.

It said the continued involvement of the private sector and Zimbabweans in the diaspora in developing the country was impeccable.

“The completion of several infrastructure projects will give impetus to sustainable development,” Cifoz said in its fourth quarter 2023 report.

The association said the massive infrastructure development programmes that are underway countrywide, including the rehabilitation and upgrading of roads, the construction of dams and installation of additional power units will contribute to tangible socio-economic transformation and realisation of Vision 2030.

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