Zimbabwe’s deputy minister for industry and commerce, Chiratidzo Mabuwa, has welcomed PPC’s commitment to investing in the country as the company confirms that it expects its second mill, a 0.7Mta unit in Harare, to be commissioned in late 2016.
According to reports in News Day, Ms Mabuwa told delegates at the Zimbabwe-South Africa Investment and Trade Initiative meeting in Bulawayo last week that PPC’s presence was a sign that the country was open for foreign investment.
“The company has invested so far US$25m in the past three years with the aim of improving productivity,” Ms Mabuwa said.
“Its expansion shows that the company has bestowed confidence in the Zimbabwean economy. The presence of PPC in Zimbabwe is enough evidence for foreign investors especially those from South Africa. It shows and it’s a testimony that your investment will always be in safe hands,” she said.
Ms Mabuwa also said PPC was one of the foreign companies that have complied with the country’s indigenisation laws.
Earlier this month, PPC said that its second mill was 60 per cent complete and that commissioning was expected “towards the end” of 2016.
The company’s expansion in Zimbabwe comes during difficult market conditions. In the same presentation, PPC stated that sales volumes had fallen by “double digits” even as prices had dropped by around 10 per cent.
PPC put the tough environment down to increasing regional competition and Zimbabwe’s economic difficulties, which are caused in part by drought conditions and a fall in the value of remittances from South Africa.