Zimbabwe intends to improve capacity utilisation in the manufacturing sector to 65 % by the end of the year and already 65% of the products on the shelves are locally produced, Industry and Commerce Minister Sekai Nzenza told Parliament yesterday.
She said that despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, capacity utilisation had risen from 11% in March 2019 to 47% in2020.
“Projections showed that by the end of 2021, we predict that capacity utilisation will surpass the 60% target and indeed rise to 65%. This is being helped by the fact that firms are now able to access cheaper foreign currency from the auction system introduced by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development and the RBZ Governor in June, 2020. This has added more to capacity utilisation and growth in the country,” Nzenza said.
There were notably capacity utilisation improvements averaging 10% within the motor industry and above 60% for the food, drink and tobacco sectors.
She also said industry had responded positively to the local content strategy.
“Despite the lockdown, I am very pleased to report that industry responded positively to the local content strategy as shown by increased number of companies that are now beginning to source their raw materials locally as well as an increased diversification and production of fully Zimbabwean products. We are witnessing up to 65% of locally produced goods on the shelves and this is quite remarkable,” she said.