Africa Moyo, Harare Bureau
A top LafargeHolcim official, Mr Miljan Gutovic, has reassured President Mnangagwa that his company will continue investing in Zimbabwe, riding on a vastly improved macro-economic environment created by the short-term economic blueprint, the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP).
Mr Gutovic, the regional head for Middle East and Africa and member of the group executive committee of LafargeHolcim, said this when he came to Harare on a two-day working visit to Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe from May 6-7.
He met President Mnangagwa during the visit and pledged to continue supporting economic growth in the country.
In a statement yesterday, Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe corporate affairs manager Mr Tawanda Njerere confirmed the group’s desire to continue investing in the country.
“The purpose of this visit was to re-affirm the commitment of the LafargeHolcim Group to invest in Zimbabwe given the macro-economic outlook under the Transitional Stabilisation Programme,” said Mr Njerere.
“During the visit Miljan Gutovic paid a courtesy call on H.E the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, (Cde) E.D. Mnangagwa. In this meeting, strategic commitments were made by the LafargeHolcim Group including a commitment to continue support for the growth of the Zimbabwean economy.
“This is in line with an initial US$25 million, three pronged expansion project at Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe that has been approved by the group.”
Initiatives under the Lafarge Cement expansion project will include; additional cement capacity, additional capacity for agricultural lime and automation of the dry mortar plant.
Government has accorded National Project Status to the expansion project earmarked for 2019-2020.
LafargeHolcim appealed to Government to stabilise electricity availability and resolve issues of foreign currency as they are key determinants to the implementation of the expansion drive.
Mr Gutovic further committed to sustain initiatives that are currently running particularly the provision of affordable housing to both the public and the private sector and efforts around rebuilding Cyclone Idai affected areas.
The LafargeHolcim Group, a global leader in the building materials supply and solutions, operates in 80 countries across the world and employs 75 000 people.
Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe, a subsidiary of LafargeHolcim, has been in the country since 1956.
It started operating as Salisbury Portland Cement then owned by the United Kingdom based Associated Portland and Manufactures Association.
It was listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange in 1980 and subsequently changed its name to Circle Cement in 1982 in line with the change in the holding company name to Blue Circle Industries Plc.
Circle Cement officially changed its name to Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe in 2007 and relisted on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange. The company has made a tremendous contribution to the country’s construction industry, with landmark construction projects that include the Kariba Dam.