The continued exportation of scrap metal is disadvantaging local businesses who need the raw material and industry leaders are lobbying the Government to limit such trade for the benefit of domestic firms.
The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) Matabeleland Chapter is lobbying its members for an imminent stakeholder engagement with the Government so as to address the dispute.
The call to ban exportation of crude tar and scrap metals for the benefit of the local industry has been raging on for some time with business leaders saying it was counterproductive for the country to export scrap yet local industry is being starved of the same raw material.
"We are receiving a lot of complaints about scrap metal sales. The Government continues to give permits for scrap metal exports when there is a shortage of the same for local firms," said Mr Sheppered Chawira, the president of CZI Matabeleland Chamber.
"The chamber is organising an engagement meeting to lobby the Government to stop this so as to promote growth of local businesses. Our hope is that this meeting takes place before the end of the year.
"I appeal to all our members and scrap metal users to register and participate in this indaba."
Mr Chawira was speaking during a recent economic review webinar that was hosted by the chamber and attended by key industry leaders. Industrialist and past CZI president, Mr Mike Dzinoreva, is on record saying there was a need for the Government to save the local industry through banning exports of scrap materials, which have left the industry bleeding.
Given the defunct state of Zisco, scrap metal has become a critical value chain component hence it is in high demand locally and abroad. Industry experts have also said that scrap exports force local firms to spend more importing and the envisaged ban could help trip import costs.
The local industry is currently running on about 10 000 tonnes of scrap metal per month against its monthly requirements of 27 000 tonnes meaning they have to import the remaining 17 000 tonnes.
CZI contends that there is a need to add value to scrap metal as opposed to exporting it with little rewards.
"Local manufacturing industries can add value to scrap metal and produce various tools for the mining, farming and other sectors. So, if implemented, various sectors stand to benefit a lot from this scrap metal, which is being sold for a song," said Mr Dzinoreva.
The Zimbabwe Institute of Foundrymen (ZIF), has also said that the banning of scrap metal exportation could revive the country's foundry industry and enhance its contribution to various sectors of the economy.