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Diaspora Matters

Construction Sector Opportunities in Zimbabwe

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The construction sector has a potential to contribute up to 20% of Zimbabwe’s Gross Domestic Product according to construction experts. The sector used to employ 20% of the country’s labour force at its peak in 1996-it however employs about 5% according to a research paper by Ruzivo Trust.

Indeginisation within the construction sector

The following factors are important to note for those who are interested in entering the sector

1.The construction sector is dominated by government projects, which currently account for90% while the remainder is accounted for by private sector projects.

2.About 60% of the players in the construction sector are indigenous, most of which are small
and unable to implement big contracts, while 40% are large non-indigenous and foreign contractors

3.Competitiveness in the sector is questionable in light of low-cost technologies used for example
by the Chinese. This implies that local firms fall away in tendering processes

4. Limited opportunities for continued capacity development among existing personnel continues
to hinder the ability to deliver on projects by local engineering and construction firms.

5.Efficient procurement of high volumes of raw materials required in the sector is hampered by
weak supporting services such as transportation.

6.On the production and construction front, erratic provision and inhibitive costs of electricity delay
turnaround time.

7.Tender Board Procedures are not consistent with the requirements of Broad Based Economic
Empowerment legislation which limits meaningful participation of Zimbabweans.
Despite being indigenized, construction in the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) is
not well organized and poorly capitalized.

8.High capitalization required in the sector limits participation to a few large players while
presenting barriers to entry to medium and small players.

Challenges in the Construction Sector

1.Human resources flight: the decade of economic crisis reduced skilled labour and experts in the
sector. In the short-term there is therefore limited resource pool for human resources to gap-fill

2. Slow uptake of new technology and equipment has rendered the sector less efficient compared to
regional and multinational competitors in the sector who have state of the art equipment at their
disposal

Opportunities in the sector

We urge our members to be always for a trigger that will enable favourable economic and investment conditions in the country. When the sector starts recovery, make sure you are part of the upward economic trajectory!

Opportunities include the provision of construction machinery, engineering jobs, joint venture and partnerships, subcontracting opportunities amongst  others

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