Brighton Gumbo, Business Reporter
THE Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) says all of its members in Bulawayo this week resumed operations after the annual shutdown.
Companies normally go on annual shutdown in December to make use of the festive season to undertake the servicing and maintenance of plant machinery.
Due to the prevailing economic climate, Zimbabwe has suffered de-industrialisation with Bulawayo, once the industrial hub of the country, being the hardest hit.
In the past, some companies have gone on annual shut down and failed to re-open.
Capacity utilisation has over the years been declining despite the economic stability brought about by the introduction of the multi-currency system.
In its manufacturing survey report released last year, CZI highlighted that capacity utilisation in industry declined to 34,3 percent from about 36,6 percent in 2014.
Responding to written questions, CZI president Busisa Moyo whose organisation represents the interests of the manufacturing sector in the country, confirmed that all companies in Bulawayo that are members of CZI had resumed operations after the annual shutdown.
“I can confirm that all companies that are our members have resumed operations after the annual shutdown,” he said.
Moyo said CZI members presently operating in Bulawayo were 25 from 50 in recent years.
“I haven’t received any information about any of our members failing to open for business in 2016,” he said.
Industry’s focus this year, Moyo said, was on implementing strategies aimed at increasing the ease of doing business, which business and the government agreed on in 2015.
“We would like to focus on improving the ease of doing business which entails reducing production costs as well as bureaucracy when approving investment proposals or business expansion,” he said.
Moyo said there was a need to attract Foreign Direct Investment and the implementation of the Special Economic Zones (SEZ).
He said as part of efforts to address obsolete equipment to stimulate productivity, CZI plans to invite industrial equipment manufacturers this quarter to help local manufacturing firms to replace antiquated machinery.
Old technology has been cited as costly to maintain hence negatively impacting on domestic products competitiveness when compared to imports.
Industry has set itself a target to increase capacity utilisation levels to 65 percent by end of next year.