Zimbabwe’s construction industry is expected to benefit from a new $50 million facility that has been introduced by the central bank to ease viability constraints threatening completion of projects.
The construction sector has not been spared from financial challenges that have seen a low uptake of projects and failure to complete several infrastructure facilities across the country.
Speaking in an interview on the sidelines of the sector’s meeting in the capital today, Construction Industry Federation of Zimbabwe president Mr Harold Chinogurei said a $50 million facility has been made available by the central bank for the benefit of companies within the sector.
“Indeed the facility is now available but we just hope the funds are adequate to ensure sustainability of the entire sector,” he said.
While banks are working on the lending structures of the facility, there is need for regulatory authorities to ensure the industry can also access the funds in hard cash to import critical raw materials, said Estate Agents Council of Zimbabwe board member Mr Justin Machibaya.
“The funding is a key problem if we can also get that in forex then it will be easier for us to ensure that several projects are completed,” he noted.
An economist Mr John Robertson said the sustainability of the construction industry depends on stakeholder ability to solve cement shortages, huge costs of borrowing and soaring prices for building materials.
“The inability to sustain certain components required to increase productivity is a key cause for concern which we believe needs urgent attention,” he said.
Players in the industry are also bemoaning uncertainties arising from the current pricing distortions on the back of tight fiscal and monetary policies, saying urgent solutions are being required to take the economy forward.