Govt to prioritise local construction industry

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PHILLIMON MHLANGA

HARARE – Government will prioritise the local construction industry players in a bid to boost productivity in the bleeding sector. Speaking at the Construction Industry Federation of Zimbabwe (CIFOZ) breakfast meeting Monday, Transport and Infrastructural Development Deputy Minister, Fortune Chasi, said the local construction industry has over the years faced a several and serious challenges that required immediate action.

Chasi said Zimbabwe’s road network was in a deplorable state and there were opportunities for local construction players in the rehabilitation and development of the infrastructure.
In the past, the local construction industry players felt squeezed by the government, with the majority claiming that the administration was giving preferential treatment to foreigners especially the Chinese, at the expense of the local players in the construction sector.

Chasi, however, said government would prioritise local players before engaging foreigners.

“The new dispensation creates a great opportunity to the construction industry,” Chasi said.

“We now want to work with locals (contractors) before we look for foreigners. We know that as construction industry you have challenges such as lack of capital for retooling among other many problems.

“But, let me assure you that you will find us (Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development) open for discussions. We will listen to you and see what we can do to assist you. We expect to get your position paper soon and we will study it and see how we can help you.”