Bulawayo based heavy duty electrical manufacturing and engineering firm, Leaford Electric Rewinds has opened an engineering division meant to complement the company's intention to tap into the regional export market to boost operations.
The move is part of the company's diversification drive from its original business. The company produces components such as industrial welding machines, current transformers, voltage transformers as well as power distribution transformers.
Leaford Electric Rewinds technical manager, Mr Orphan Bhiza yesterday said the new engineering division was part of the company's rebranding initiative aimed at increasing its clientele base. "We now have an engineering department and this has been in our plans as we seek to provide our clients with engineering services as well as reaching out to potential clients.
The company also plans to move to Harare.
"Metal fabrication is the building of metal structures by cutting, bending and assembling processes and we are now doing as such through a well assembled team of engineers and experts. We can now construct trailers for haulage trucks, wagons and even steel material for the construction of bridges," Mr Bhiza said.
The engineering division will cater for the manufacturing, agricultural and mining sector.
Mr Bhiza said the company's products are suitably designed for the regional market and they are anticipating penetrating the export market in Zambia and Malawi. The company's sales team was in Malawi recently making follow-ups on enquiries made during this year's Zimbabwe International Trade Fair.'
Mr Bhiza said they are also making market consultations in Zambia.
He said the company has failed to secure tenders from big organisations such as Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority, a development that is impacting negatively on the viability of the firm. Small and Medium Enterprises and Co-operative Development Minister Sithembiso Nyoni during a tour of the company recently said Government recently made it a policy that 25 percent of state enterprise tenders should be awarded to SMEs to promote their growth.
In a separate interview, Leaford engineering manager Sifiso Ncube said their company has the capacity to supply transformers to the country's power utility Zesa."We have the capacity to supply big corporates but the challenge is the tender processes.
"We do not know ZESA's criteria when awarding the tenders. Awarding of tenders to companies that source raw materials from foreign markets contributes towards externalisation of foreign currency," said Mr Ncube.