Government has embarked on a blitz to issue cement import licences to various players in the construction industry, a development which has seen about 665 applications for the license being approved.
Speaking at a post cabinet briefing yesterday, the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Jenfan Muswere said the approved applications are for cement manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and companies in the construction industry to ease cement shortages.
“Cabinet advises that as at 15 November 2023, 665 applications for cement import licences had been approved amounting to 149 000 metric tonnes to ease cement shortages and clear backlogs that had been created on the market.
“Cabinet reports that of the 665 approved applications, only 332 import licences were collected. The approved applications are for manufacturers of cement, wholesalers, and retailers as well as companies in the construction industry,” he said.
License holders have only been allowed to import cement up to 31 December this year. During the period, an Administrative arrangement has been put in place by ZIMRA to allow 100 bags of 50kgs of cement to get into the country for personal use.
“The supply gap of cement is expected to decline starting December 2023. Government continues to review the current cement supply situation and will take decisive action against errant industry players,” said Muswere.
Meanwhile, Government has warned those who would have been awarded the cement import licences to desist from selling them to other parties.
“Members of the public are hereby advised that the cement import
permits issued by the Ministry belong to the licence holders and
are not to be resold or transferred over to any other party,” reads the statement.