Farirai Machivenyika, Harare Bureau
Government has commended the work done by a Chinese-owned tiles manufacturing company, Sunny Yi Feng based in Norton, which has already started exporting some of its products.
The company began producing tiles on May 12 and is producing between 30 000 and 35 000 square metres of tiles per day, with 70 percent of that being exported to several countries in the Sadc region.
Yesterday, Ministers of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvangwa, Industry and Commerce Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndlovu and Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Ziyambi Ziyambi yesterday toured the company’s operations.
They were accompanied by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Mr Nick Mangwana.
“They started producing three months ago but are already producing for export and it’s just wonderful to see products going to South Africa, to Zambia and that product is coming from Zimbabwe,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
She said what the company was doing was a good response to the President’s call that ‘Zimbabwe is Open for Business’.
“This is the kind of investment that we need that has downstream benefits for our people. I am also happy that we have seen our young women, our young mothers being employed and I am happy that they can now look after their families.”
Minister Mutsvangwa commended the long-standing relations between China and Zimbabwe saying they date back to the days of the liberation struggle when Beijing provided material support to liberation movements “at a huge price for them but at no cost to us”.
“Our special relationship was epitomised by the events of July 2008 when China used its veto to block UN sanctions against Zimbabwe. China has contributed a lot to the development of Zimbabwe including the construction of the National Sports Stadium, Kariba South Power Station, the Victoria Falls International Airport and expansion of Hwange 7 and 8, and even our new Parliament building,” she said.
Sunny Yi Feng vice managing director Mr William Gung said they had invested US$50 million for the first line of production. “In the first line of production, we produce between 30 000 and 35 000 square metres of tiles per day and we export 70 percent of that to South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique. Up to this moment including everything on this land and on the vessel (coming into the country) we have invested US$50 million,” said Mr William.
He said his company will also produce fertilisers from coal and other by-products from its operations.
Mr William said the company had plans to construct accommodation for its workers.
“Now we are trying to get some more land from the Government so that we can build houses for the workers here at the factory,” he said.