Zimbabwean industries took advantage of the COVID-19 lockdown to locally produce more products that were being imported into the country, it has emerged at a meeting in Harare today.
Lockdowns that took place around the world last year restricted travels and made it hard for importers into Zimbabwe leaving a gap that local industries moved in to cover according to the Harare Provincial Director in the Ministry of Industry and Commerce Sipiwe Nyamatore.
She said due to the COVID-19 pandemic induced lockdowns “most of the bulky products are now manufactured locally.”
Provincial Development Coordinator in the Office of the Harare Metropolitan Province, Tafadzwa Muguti added that the industries had an upgrade from 3 to 8 out of 10 in terms of the products produced in the local market compared to imported as a result of borders closing down.
The Provincial Director however lamented on the shortage of land allocated to industries that want to operate in Zimbabwe’s capital during the inaugural Provincial development Committee meeting for Harare Metropolitan Provinces.
“It looks like we are running out of space for industry,” she said. “When you go out to look for space at the local council you won’t be happy.” (sic)
“Also our babies SMEs are in need of space because they are the industries of tomorrow.”
Nyamatore said that there is a need to find a solution to the issue of land for industries as a way forward.
A measure of the extent to which the productive capacity of industries is being used in the country (capacity utilisation) by the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) shows an 11 % increase to 47% in 2020 from 36.4% recorded in the previous year.
CZI also expects a jump in this growth to above 60% by the end of the year 2021.