TO boost production levels and meet its export requirements, industrial belt manufacturer, General Beltings Ltd, has implemented a project to install an additional belt press.
Managing director Tendai Kapumha said the installation would improve the company’s delivery to the export market.
“Installation of an additional belt press to improve delivery to the export market was initiated and will be completed by the end of the first half of this year,” Kapumha said.
He said such an exercise would witness production levels increasing by 30%.
“This will add 30% to existing belt capacity,” said Kapumha.
He said the company had also been awarded standard certification locally and South Africa which provided a boost for its local and regional markets.
“The company obtained ISO 14001 certification through the Standards Association of Zimbabwe. SABS 1173, SABS 971 and SABS 974 assisted our continued presence in the export markets,” Kapumha said.
He said the unavailability of inputs such as coal and electricity had provided a challenge for the company, but had failed to impact negatively on its performance because of the counter measures that had been put in place.
“Availability of coal and electricity was a challenge during the year but this did not impact negatively as strategic arrangement were put in place to mitigate this,” Kapumha said.
He cited the deteriorating situation in the mining sector currently against a thriving sector in previous years as factors that provide challenges to the company’s operations.
“While mining has been doing well during 2003, the situation has changed for the worst in 2004,” Kapumha said.
He said the company was exploring other opportunities in the viable agro-processing sector, as well as the automotive industry.
He said this was mainly to diversify the company’s market risk.
“Efforts will be directed towards diversifying market risk through exploring opportunities in the agro-processing, food industries as well as the automotive industry,” said Kapumha.
He complained of the central bank policy on foreign currency arguing that the system was making exports unvaible and hoped the central bank was going to review the rate to $5 000 for the US dollar.
“The 25% of the foreign proceeds realised at a rate of $824 to the US dollar will continue to make exports unviable,” Kapumha said.
“It is hoped that this portion of proceeds will soon be realised at the auction rate. Exports should become viable at the rate of $5 000 to US dollar.”