Harare – Building and piping products manufacturer, Turnall Holdings Limited says the import restrictions introduced by the Government enhanced competitiveness of the company’s products.
As a background the Government introduced Statutory Instrument 64 in 2016 targeted at restricting importation of selected products so as to boost local production a move which started paying dividends with some firms recording increased demand for their products.
The instrument restricts the importation of 43 products, with local equivalents stating that for one to do so, it requires an import licence, which is issued once one has satisfied authorities on the reason the products should have to be imported.
Investors have seen the measure as a form of protectionism.
SI64 caused a brief trading row with neighbouring South Africa — Zimbabwe’s biggest trading partner — who threatened retaliatory measures against the country.
The row concluded with the government being forced to make some duty concessions on 112 products provided to them by their South African counterparts.
However, SI64 did see capacity utilisation rise to 47.4 percent in 2016 from the previous year’s 34.3 percent, with more companies praising the rise.
Managing Director of the construction Group, Roseline Chisveto told analysts in the capital that the import restrictions promulgated by the Government is paying off.
“Competitiveness of the company’s products was enhanced through continued import restrictions introduced by government.
“Strong focus on infrastructure projects and housing increased; the revival of mortgages, has yielded positive results for the Group.”
However, Chisveto pointed out that liquidity challenges characterised by persistent cash shortages impacted on the Group’s ability to import critical supplies.
“Foreign currency constraints worsened negatively impacting the Group’s ability to import critical raw material and spares. A three tier pricing system dominated the market anchored by a high speculative behaviour,” she said.
She also said the customer’s appetite to spend particularly on construction materials increased as a way of locking value.
Chisveto said the market was characterized by high uncertainties making it difficult for the Group to pursue its long term plans.
The company also said it has started receiving fibre from the local SMM mines and has conducted successful trials.
“We commenced with 10 percent local fibres and increased to 50 percent usage against imported fibres,” she said adding that export sales were focused on Zambia, mainly on concrete roofing tiles.
Turnall Holdings Limited is a Zimbabwe-based company, which is engaged in the production of building and construction materials comprising corrugated sheeting, flat sheets, pan tiles, pressure pipes, sewer pipes, concrete roofing tiles and related accessories.
The Company operates through the segments, which include Building products, Piping products and Concrete tile.
The Building products segment is engaged in the production of roofing sheets, flat sheets and molded goods.
Its Piping products segment is engaged in the production of water and sewer reticulation pipes. The Concrete tile segment is engaged in the production of concrete roofing products. It offers products, including garden decor, partition boards, barges, fascia, pantiles, slate and endurites.
Its product line also includes Ravenna concrete tile, Nutech non asbestos sheets and Turnall Spanish pavers. The Company has its market presence in South Africa, Mozambique, Zambia and Malawi.
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