3 September 2010

Zimbabwe: LAFARGE's Operations Improve

Harare — LAFARGE Cement Zimbabwe has seen a marked improvement in its operations as a result of the enhanced economic situation and significant stakeholder intervention, the company has said.

The cement producer has indicated that it is targeting to increase its production output to 90 percent of its installed capacity of 450 000 tonnes in the upcoming year. It is presently operating at 72 percent capacity.

Said Lafarge's managing director Mr Johnathan Shoniwa:

"As a company, we have started seeing signs of improvement in our operations, thanks to the improved business environment and unwavering support from our stakeholders, namely the Government and other regulatory authorities, customers, and other business partners."

Lafarge recently said that it had received US$3 million from its parent company, the French-based Lafarge Group, for the refurbishment of plant and machinery. The funds would be released in tranches during the remainder of this year for the targeted refurbishment.

Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe, formerly Circle Cement Limited is part of the Lafarge group, headquartered in Paris. It has presence in more than 79 countries around the world and employs around 90 000 people internationally.

Lafarge on Wednesday launched a bursary programme and handed over some textbooks in Mabvuku.

The company has widened its social responsibility role extending it to cover a number of sectors including education, health, sport and recreation, as well as charitable organisations.

Mr Shoniwa said one of the core aims of his company's social responsibility drive was the need for the business to operate on a sustainable basis.

"The international business standards practiced in the group form the basis of Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe's culture. These standards relate to all aspects of the company's operations, including its rigorous safety standards, commitment to excellence in all aspects of its operations, an innovative approach to its core business and a sense of social responsibility towards all its stakeholders, especially the communities close to its operations.

It is committed to the communities in which it operates and to playing its role as a corporate citizen in promoting welfare.

"In line with our values, we believe in being a responsible member of our community: contributing to the development of the people, their health and well being by generating economic growth and supporting social, educational and cultural advancement," he said.

Lafarge's community bursary programme, meant for Mabvuku, Tafara and surrounding communities, valued at US$21 000 for this year, is targeted to increase to US$40 000.

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