Lovemore Zigara, Midlands Correspondent
GWERU-based cement manufacturer, Sino Zimbabwe Cement Company (SZCC), has engaged Government to have title deeds for Indiva Farm where it is located to be transferred to the company.
The cement manufacturer, which began operations in 2011, is a joint venture between the Industrial Development Corporation, which has a 35 percent stake on behalf of the Zimbabwean Government and the Chinese government through its parastatal, China Building Materials Corporation (CBMC).
Indiva Farm, located 33 kilometres east of Gweru, is still regarded as State land and the absence of title deeds in SZCC has resulted in the company failing to access lines of credit to due the absence of collateral demanded by lending institutions.
SZCC managing director, Mr Wang Yong, said the company wanted to attract more investors at the site for the setting up of an industrial park for the construction sector.
He, however, said their efforts were being hampered by absence of title deeds.
“We have been on this piece of land for the past two decades since 1996 but up to now we are still to get title deeds and as we speak this land is still regarded as state land. We are happy that some inroads have been made since our engagement with the Minister of Industry and Commerce (Mike Bimha) and the issue has now been tabled before Cabinet,” said Mr Wang.
“Without title deeds there is nothing we can do to get lines of credit to invest in the business hence we have been solely relying on our shareholders for funding. We also intend to rope in other investors to come on board for the setting up of an industrial park but the issue of title deeds is the major stumbling block since there is no security of tenure.”
As part of the industrial park, a $50 million brick and tile plant is expected to be set up, which will employ 500 people during the construction stage.
The construction has been delayed by funding challenges after the principal shareholders Sinoma, CBMC and IDC failed to raise the initial $20 million for the first phase of the project, which would have begun in 2015.
However, a Chinese investor has come on board and construction is set to begin in the second quarter of this year.