czi logo.jpgIndustrialists have queried the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CCZ) prediction that capacity utilisation may increase to 80 percent this year, arguing that there is little activity in the manufacturing sector to suggest growth.

The country’s manufacturing sector has been subdued for the greater part of the decade owing to sanctions-induced challenges, with most firms failing to recover as anticipated.

Figures from the CZI indicate that capacity utilisation increased to 57.2 percent last year with hopes that the figure can increase to 80 percent this year.

However, stakeholders contend that such figures may be misleading.

 

Sources say only around five companies are performing well in the country.

An industrialist, Mr. Callisto Jokonya, says there has not been any major difference from 2009 as most firms are closing operations.

It is believed that while production capacity continues to increase, it is not commensurate with high staff turnover in the local manufacturing industries as many firms continue to retrench owing to operations constraints.

According to last year’s CZI survey, exporting firms are still constrained as raw materials are not readily available.

Figures from human resources consultants show that four thousand workers were retrenched last year which does not tally with prevailing capacity utilisation.