ACTING President Joice Mujuru yesterday officially commissioned a US$4 million brick-making plant wholly owned by a local company, Vaka Concrete Limited. Located in Sunway City Industrial Park, about seven kilometres east of Harare, Vaka Concrete is jointly owned by former Delta Corporation chief executive Mr Joe Mtizwa and former PG Industries chief executive Mr Nyasha Zhou.
The state-of-the-art brick-making plant has the capacity to produce 150 000 bricks in an eight-hour shift.
Initially, the project will directly employ at least 50 people, with the number increasing to over 130 by 2014. The project will also benefit downstream industries such construction, infrastructure and national housing as well as boost the operations of suppliers of cement, concrete and quarry, among others.
Acting President Mujuru applauded Vaka Concrete for the initiative, saying it was encouraging to have indigenous Zimbabweans investing in their own country.
"This investment is 100 percent owned by indigenous Zimbabweans who have come together, taken risks and showed confidence in the future of their country," she said. "This is a bold move, which I and the people of Zimbabwe must applaud.
"We are calling for more investment in value addition activities such as this brick-making plant in order to create jobs and build infrastructure for this country."
Vaka Concrete deputy chairman Mr Zhou said the company was planning more investments, starting with a roof tile plant adjacent to the brick factory in Sunway City.
He said the company would build more brick plants in the Midlands Province, Bulawayo, Manicaland and Masvingo.
"We are hoping to achieve this in the next one and half to two years," said Mr Zhou, in an interview after the commissioning. He said the companies would engage agencies to enhance product distribution.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president Mr Kumbirai Katsande said the investment showed how determined some Zimbabweans were to contribute to the growth of the economy.