General Beltings capacity utilisation up 40pct, says imports still a threat

General Beltings capacity utilisation up 40pct, says imports still a threat

BULAWAYO, July 6 (The Source) – General Beltings Limited, Zimbabwe’s sole manufacturer of conveyor belts says capacity utilisation has risen to 40 percent but business remains constrained due to an influx of imports despite a government ban on imports.

General manager, Joseph Gunda, told The Source that since the imports ban last year, there is an improvement in volumes but not enough to have a significant impact on the business as cheap imports of conveyor belts are still finding their way into country.

“Some of our customers are still resisting but the majority are gradually embracing the local procurement drive and I am sure the second half of 2017 will give give an indication of where we are going. (Our) current operating capacity (is) 40 percent,” he said.

In the first half 2016, the company’s capacity utilisation was hovering around 11 percent, down from 21 percent at the end of 2015, he added.

Gunda said GB’s products meet regional and international standards and that the company was “gradually building market confidence”.

In the first three months of the year, volumes were up 153 percent while revenue was 57 percent ahead of last year.

Gunda said the company was facing challenges such as delays in foreign currency payments for imports of raw materials as well as servicing legacy and current debts.

General Beltings is part of the GB Holdings group, along with Pigott Maskew and Cernol Chemicals.