The prices of cement have not come down significantly despite Tanzania and other East African Community member states having allowed free movement of the commodity across their borders.
A 50kg bag of cement averages between Sh15,000 and Sh18,000 in Dar es Salaam, and sells at higher prices in other parts of the country where consumers pay up to Sh25,000 per bag.
The only respite for Tanzanians is to wait for the country’s three cement producers to boost their outputs and add some 900,000t to their combined annual capacity in a year’s time. It is hoped this will bring down prices to levels that will be affordable to many Tanzanians.
The Government should also play its part by looking into and possibly lowering duties and other taxes levied on cement and other building materials. Short of this, the building of decent homes will remain the preserve of the super-rich.