SECRETARY for Media, Information and Publicity Mr George Charamba says the printing industry should put aside petty rivalries and focus on technologies made available to them. After visiting Zimbabwe Newspapers’ new printing press yesterday, Mr Charamba said the new plant would facilitate the evolution of the industry as it moved towards technological advancement.
“The publishing industry will soon cast aside their petty rivalries to now audit the technology which is made available to them not as individual players but as an industry.
“What will make them survive as an industry is not their petty rivalries, but the efficiencies they bring to bear on their businesses and therefore the advantages will pass on to the consumers,” he said.
He said the entire industry should converge on the latest technologies which are more efficient as they were getting substandard performance from outdated equipment.
“Because we are paying for inefficiencies, it doesn’t matter if it is textbooks, or newspapers or labels for businesses, we are paying for horrible inefficiencies arising from old technologies and outdated business practices. Now, with this kind of output it shows we are now living in a new era.”
He said Zimpapers had responded well to President Mugabe’s call to “Look East” by acquiring equipment from India, a country which is favourably disposed towards Zimbabwe.
“Zimpapers is leading not only the industry, but the country in terms of the retooling on the strength of technology that is from countries that are favour-ably disposed towards our country. And also by way of changing the economics, and technological standards of the industry,” he said.
He added that Zimpapers’ competition was not in Zimbabwe anymore, but in South Africa where the majority of skills had moved.
“We are demanding services which we should in fact be providing so we are losing resources to South Africa. This image of the country as a consumer economy must go, we must be a producing economy. Zimpapers must not focus on competition locally but must focus on competition that is Down South were we will prove to be an emerging giant in the industry,” he said.
Zimpapers chief executive Mr Justin Mutasa said the installation of the US$2,2 million fully automated Orient X-Cel printing press was at an advanced stage and would be ready for trial runs in two weeks.
“I am very happy with the progress we have made and we will be ready for trial runs in the next two weeks and by the end of the month we will be running full throttle,” he said.
He said prospects looked bright as the latest technology would guarantee the firm a slot as a leading company in the industry.
“It will take us to dizzy heights because not only will it guarantee adding value to our customers but it has diversified our operations into new business lines within the commercial printing so there are going to be more opportunities and that are not only going to efficiently reduce costs but producing a first class product at the same time,” he said.
The new machine will replace the 30-year-old Goss Metroliner press and it is one of the biggest investments made by the group in many years.
The plant is twice as efficient as the old press which used to take much longer to print the various titles published under the Zimpapers stable.
The new printing press produces high quality newspapers and semi-commercial products such as gloss paper pullouts, fliers and pamphlets.
Zimpapers will be able to print all its newspapers on the new press, which would drastically cut
costs, improve efficiency and improve colour positions thereby attracting increased advertising volumes
and new commercial business for Natprint, its subsidiary.