Innocent Ruwende Senior Reporter
Harare City Council has extended the Memorandum of Understanding with its Egyptian partner El-Sewedy Electrometer for the establishment of a $15 million pre-paid smart water meter manufacturing plant in Harare by 14 days to facilitate a feasibility study on the business.
The two parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding in May, culminating in a Joint Venture Agreement for the establishment of the plant, which is expected to create over 200 direct jobs for locals and more within the value chain. The joint venture company will also finance, install and manage commercial prepaid smart water meters for the city and supply meters to other cities within the region.
The extension was approved on the advice of acting chamber secretary Mr Charles Kandemiri. “Acting chamber secretary (Mr Charles Kandemiri) advised that in terms of clause 8,1 as read with clause 6.1.7 of the Memorandum of Understanding, the feasibility studies had not been carried out, hence he was now requesting authority to extend the MoU to finalise the matter,” read the recent minutes of the Business Committee.
“It was the committee’s view that the finance director identifies the land for the business, while awaiting finalisation of the matter.”
The city is already looking for land for the business. El-Sewedy Electrometer supports utilities across the world with metering solutions and services that improve revenue collection.
The city says El- Sewedy has 20 million meters running in 46 countries and can produce five million meters per annum. Acting town clerk Mrs Josephine Ncube said the setting up of the assembly plant in the country would lead to reduced prices of prepaid meters as components being manufactured in Egypt will be assembled locally.
“The company had demonstrated their capacity in terms of their presence around the globe, their quality processes, experience with metering and ability to meet our requirements,” she said.
The deal followed a positive report on El-Sewedy Electrometer by deputy mayor Clr Enock Mupamawonde and a team of city officials after a tour of the company’s operations in Cairo, Egypt.
Clr Mupamawonde said the company had factories in Egypt, Mexico, Brazil, Czech Republic, India, Ethiopia, Ghana and Zambia.
Company chairman Mr Ahmed Sewedy said they intend to set up the company before year-end.