THE Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) will today launch the 2013 manufacturing survey at a time the sector is at its low due to stiff competition from imports that have flooded the market as well as lack of working capital.
CZI commissions the survey every year to establish the performance of the manufacturing sector in relation to capacity utilisation, utilities, access to finance and employment creation.
Capacity utilisation for the sector took off from 10% in 2008 to 30% in 2009, then 43,7% in 2010, 57,2% in 2011 before declining to 44% in 2012 due to the low performance of the economy.
Industry minister Mike Bimha recently said there was no industry to talk about in the country, hence there was need for government and the private sector to work together to realise the potential in the sector.
CZI last year conducted the survey with 200 of its member companies, but it has broadened the survey to incorporate non-members this year.
Early this year, former CZI president Kumbirayi Katsande warned that the capacity utilisation of most firms was expected to further plunge due to Bulawayo’s de-industrialisation.
The de-industrialisation is being experienced throughout the country as companies fail to operate effectively.
Some of the companies that closed down in the past decade include Karina Textiles, David Whitehead, Cairns Foods, Pine Products, PG Safety Glass and Mutare Board and Paper Mills.
Experts contend that the low yields and poor rainfalls witnessed by the agriculture sector had a domino effect on the manufacturing sector as it was the source of raw materials. The sector contributed 22% to GDP in 2010.
According to the 2013 National Budget, the sector is expected to grow by 3% due to the implementation of the Industrial Development Policy, anticipated lines of credit, fiscal incentives and a favourable agriculture season.
“Main manufacturing sub-sectors which will drive the growth include beverages (7,4%), foodstuffs (4%), furniture (3,7%) as well as paper, printing and publishing (2,6%),” part of the budget reads.
CZI will next week hold its annual congress in Bulawayo under the theme Imperatives for reversing de-industrialisation.