16 October 2018

Zimbabwe: Contractors Urge Govt to Engage Locals

Patrick Chitumba Midlands Bureau Chief

The Zimbabwe Building Contractors Association (ZBCA) has called on Government to engage local contractors in major construction projects to curb the "export" of foreign currency as the investors repatriate their profits.

In an interview on the sidelines of the ZBCA Midlands region business dinner held in Gweru recently, ZBCA president Engineer Ramson Nherera, said it was high time Government and local developers engaged local contractors to limit repatriation of foreign currency by foreign companies.

"If we invest in the local person, whatever he gets is spent locally. I say so because we have also grown in capacity in the past year. For example in Harare we were doing 6km of road per month but now we are at 25 to 30 km per month. We have grown our capacity and even the plants we have," he said.

"Contractors who come here work and repatriate money back to their countries. We want to partner Government so that we become a player in bringing foreign currency to the country."

ZBCA Midlands region chairperson, Dr Tinashe Manzungu, said the sustainability of the construction industry depends on its members delivering on projects and on time. He said the industry was upset by uncertainties arising from the current price distortions on the back of tight fiscal and monetary policies, saying urgent solutions were needed to take the economy forward.

"We are happy with the relation we have with the Government and the central bank and as Midlands regions, we are poised for growth," said Dr Manzungu.

The dinner event had brought about captains of industry from the construction industry ranging from builders, contractors, hardware, electricians, carpenters and associate members who include bankers and educational institutions.

"These are the people who make towns, cities and the country in terms of infrastructural development. We applaud their efforts in the construction industry as we mark the road map to our 2030 vision in the construction sector," said Dr Manzungu.

The construction sector has not been spared from financial challenges that have seen a low uptake of projects and failure to complete several infrastructure facilities across the country.

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