Ramp up production, industry told

THE Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) has urged the local industry to ramp up its production capacity in the face of disturbances which engulfed South Africa in the past week.

The CCZ said in as much as the riots in South Africa had a negative impact on Zimbabwe, they also had a silver lining.

“It is positive in the sense that this will be an opportunity for Zimbabwean consumers to start embracing locally-produced products and enhance an appetite for Zimbabwean products and services,” CCZ said in a statement yesterday.

The consumer-based organisation said the disturbances in South Africa gave Zimbabwe an opportunity to embrace the local production agenda, with a view to benefit the domestic market as well as the region and Africa as a whole.

“Therefore, this could propel the ‘Buy Zimbabwe’ campaign to another level and ultimately increase local production which we have been clamouring for too long,” the organisation said.

It, however, said that the riots were on the other hand detrimental to Zimbabwe, in that they would result in the short supply of raw materials, which may choke the domestic production of goods.

“South Africa is Zimbabwe’s biggest trading partner that means raw material, spares, equipment, machinery, accessories and groceries among other things … will be in short supply in the next few days considering that South Africa’s major highways linking to Durban port have been blockaded,” CCZ said.

The organisation also called upon consumers to act responsibly, avoid hoarding and panic which may result in artificial shortages.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, recently said that the violent protests in neighbouring South Africa, could trigger regional instability and called for a peaceful resolution to the impasse.

Mnangagwa’s fears came at a time when local economic experts also warned that the disturbances down south could cost Zimbabwe’s economy a whopping US$25 million if they continued for another week.

More than 72 people in South Africa have died while over 1 200 were arrested during the violent activities characterised by looting.

The violent protests were ignited by former president Jacob Zuma’s recent jailing for 15 months for defying a court order.

Tamary Chikiwa