Buy Zimbabwe applauds removal of sugar and cement from Open General Import Licence

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  • Government removed sugar and cement from the OGLI
  • Move meant to promote local production and consumption
  • Local players in those sectors have been constantly increasing production

Buy Zimbabwe has commended government’s move to remove sugar and cement from the Open General Import Licence (OGIL) in a bid to promote the local production and consumption of these goods.

Buy Zimbabwe is an organisation and campaign that seeks to raise awareness and the profile of home-grown goods and services available locally while lobbying government to implement policies that support local producers without negatively affecting consumer choice.

Government passed statutory instrument 89 (SI89) which was gazetted on the 2nd of April 2021 and requires importers to now get import licenses from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce for the two commodities.

“As Buy Zimbabwe we applaud this move by government which is aimed at promoting the produce local and buy local campaign,” the organisation says.

The organisation further said the statutory instrument came at the perfect time when the production of cement and sugar companies is on the rise.

“The statutory instrument was gazetted at a time when the cement and sugar companies have ramped up production and created more than adequate capacity to meet local demand and even export requirements,” they added.

To put this into perspective, In July 2020, Lafarge Zimbabwe posted record sales that shattered a record that had been standing since 2003 on the back of a strong recovery in the Individual Home Builder (IHB) market, Concrete Plaster Manufacturing (CPM) and Roads segments consequent to strong tobacco and cotton market revenues.

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe division of regional cement producer, PPC posted domestic cement volumes growth by 5% to 10% in the first half of its 2021 financial year supported by ongoing infrastructure projects and resultantly, revenue increased by 60% to R797 million compared to R497 million recorded in the same period last year.

And on sugar, despite recording a 4 percent slump in sugar production in the nine months to 31 December 2020, Hippo Valley Estates Limited issued a bullish outlook this year saying the above normal rainfall received in the country this rainy season is set to improve on water security for the sugar cane production industry and consequently influence a surge production.

On that backdrop, the company said that it had cleared 2 700 hectares of virgin land for an expansion project titled Project Kilimanjaro, in partnership with Triangle Limited, the government and local banks.

However, fellow sugar refiner, Star Africa Corporation recorded a loss of ZWL53,8 million in inflation adjusted terms for the half year ended 30 September 2020 as a result of impediments on operations that include COVID 19, power shortages, water shortages and an accident at one of the company’s warehouses.

This can also be positive for the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI)’s projected industrial capacity utilization of 61 percent for 2021 up from 47 percent in 2020.

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