Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
PRETORIA Portland Cement (PPC) Zimbabwe has launched a new product range as the firm seeks to address the challenges of cheap and substandard cement imports flooding the local market.
The local cement industry has appealed to Government to protect it from unfair competition from imported cement as what other countries in the region are doing.
Zimbabwe attracts imported cement due to high prices of its locally produced cement, which has seen other countries taking advantage of the price discrepancy to export their excess to the country.
Yesterday PPC Zimbabwe announced the launch of its latest product range called the SURERANGE, which is made up of six exceptional products namely: Surewall, Surebuild, Surecem, Surecast, Sureroad and Suretech.
The products are part of the company’s threefold strategy aimed at caring for the customers, caring for the environment and to be the cement industry’s technology leader.
Officially launching the latest product range at a hotel in Bulawayo yesterday, PPC Zimbabwe managing director, Mr Kelibone Masiyane, said being champions of innovation and manufacturing products of the future was their style.
He said the latest product range was being launched because PPC Zimbabwe is optimistic of the massive construction projects in Zimbabwe in light of attaining an upper middle-income economy by 2030.
“We are very optimistic in terms of the country and this is why we are looking ahead and launching products that we believe are for the future,” said Mr Masiyane.
He said the firm’s SURERANGE brand demonstrates the company’s cutting edge drive in the cement industry with every product new and improved to ensure excellent results.
“We have not only improved the quality of our products, but we have also refreshed their look, we have also changed the names of the products to ensure that they are aligned to the benefits that are contained in each and every bag.
“When you buy a PPC bag of cement, you are sure of exceptional product performance and strength hence we call them the SURERANGE. Now with this SURERANGE, Zimbabwe’s infrastructure can be elevated to achieve the dreams that we have for our nation,” said Mr Masiyane.
The PPC Zimbabwe boss said SURERANGE provides the ideal cement to complete any construction project, no matter its style, size or scope.
“There are challenges facing the construction sector today as cheap, somewhat substandard cement is flooding the local market, mostly through imports. This imported cement, when used in construction projects, results in infrastructure that lacks structural integrity.
“The longevity of the investment is thereby compromised, and Zimbabwe’s economy bears the cost. Additionally, the cement industry’s viability is challenged and job security and economic growth are challenged,” said Mr Masiyane.
“No matter the style, size or scope of a construction project, there is a bag for that in the PPC SURERANGE.”
Formerly PMC, Mr Masiyane said Surewall produces a mortar with improved workability, cohesion and water retention, as well as lower tensile bond strength and consistent colour.
“It is specifically formulated to enhance the performance of all masonry mortars used for bricklaying, block laying, rendering and plastering. It also gives improved performance of fines deficient building and plaster sands. Use it for flooring to achieve unmatched shine when polished,” he said.
Mr Masiyane said Surecem formerly Unicem, is a re-engineered general purpose, consistent strength cement and has been optimised for a broad range of applications, whilst achieving impeccable levels of quality.
“Where economy and consistency are key requirements, Surecem is the bag for the job. It’s formulated with early strength characteristics for use in concrete, mortar, plaster, bricks, blocks, small precast works and Do-It-Yourself (DIY) applications.”
And Suretech formerly OPC, he said, is the only CEM I product in the country. This cement has been re-formulated to enable versatility in producing cost effective, high-end concrete and concrete products.
“PPC has always been a champion of innovation, going ahead of its customers to manufacture a product for the future. The product is another first for Zimbabwe in preparation for the massive structures that will soon become common practice, as we build going up and down, and not sideways. Suretech is best suited for blending with extenders. Its applications include concrete, grouts, precast products, shotcrete, masonry products, and specialist and proprietary applications,” said Mr Masiyane. — @okazunga