Patrick Chitumba Midlands Bureau Chief
The Zimbabwe Building Contractors’ Association (ZBCA) has commended Government for the $50 million loan facility introduced by the central bank to ease viability constraints threatening the completion of projects.
The construction sector has not been spared from financial challenges that have seen a low uptake of projects and failure to complete several infrastructure facilities across the country.
In an interview on the sidelines of the ZBCA Midlands regional business dinner held in Gweru last week, ZBCA president Engineer Ramson Nherera said through the facility, the association has been given an opportunity to retool and buy new plant.
“We are grateful to the Government and the central bank for the $50 million loan facility which we are going to tap into for retooling purposes,” he said. “As you are aware, the plant in the country is quite old with some having a plant that is in excess of 20 years.
“Now with this facility we have been given an opportunity to retool, to buy new plant. The banks are still working on the lending rates for the facility, but if the rates are less than 10 percent, I assure you that we will retool and bring back the worth of the facility through bankable projects and finish others we have been struggling to finish due to financial constraints.”
Eng Nherera said it was high time that Government and local developers engaged local contractors to curb or limit repatriation of foreign currency.
“If we invest in the local person, whatever he gets is spent locally,” he said. “I say so because we have also grown in capacity in the past year, for example in Harare, we were doing six kilometres of road per month, but now we are at 25 to 30 kilometres per month.
“Contractors who come here work and repatriate money back to their countries. We want to partner Government so that we become a player in bringing foreign currency to the country.”