By Daniel Chigundu
LEADING cement manufacturing concern Lafarge Cement which is exhibiting at the 59th edition of Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) says this year they have decided to pay attention to their special products segment.
In an interview at the company’s exhibition stand, communications manager Tsungie Manyeza said although cement is on exhibition the major highlight is special products.
“We have decided to highlight a certain section of our business other than cement, so we have our cement on display but the highlight of our exhibition is our special products and these special products are products that we are manufacturing from the by-products of the cement making process.
“We have quite a huge range and most of them are in support of construction but among them, there is also agricultural lime which is a calcitic grade soil additive made from pulverized limestone. It is used to edify nutrients and balancing the PH content in the soil.
“Outside of that one we then have Snolime which is a traditional lime wash paint that we normally use to mark tracks I think most schools and sports events will be familiar with it,” she said.
Manyeza added that they have Cemwash which is cement based paint or pigmented that provides a water repellent decorative finish, is supplied in powder form and that it requires only the addition of clean water to provide a cost-effective decorative finish.
There is Impermo which is a cement waterproofing product available in powder form, and you add it to cement to overcome capillary absorption of moisture into cement mortar and concrete.
Lafarge is also exhibiting Cemprover which is a liquid and primer it improves the adhesive properties of wall surfaces and tile adhesives, then Tilecoat which is a cement based adhesive for tiling.
There is Tile-grout as well and Colobrite which is paint found in powder form and can be found in various colours depending on the pigment that one would want and there is also PreSanded Cemwash which is a coloured waterproof paint.
The Lafarge communications manager added that while her company’s exhibition is showing the special products, it is also highlighting the ZITF 2018 theme message.
“We also have our aggregates range which is mainly your 6mm stones, crusher-run washed sand again all these are products that you can use in construction so this is the one section that we are mainly highlighting this year in terms of products, but the total exhibition highlight is inclining to the ZITF theme.
“We are focusing on how our business promotes inclusivity, our collaborative elements and our competitive elements. So in terms of inclusion, the biggest value is diversity and inclusion,” she said.
Manyeza added that in the company’s workforce they have a huge representation of women across the board in industrial services as well as in the service team and that their target is to have 30 percent representation of women in management but currently they sit at 33 percent “which for us is a milestone and worthy celebrating, you will also find that we now also entering into a drive to incorporate the disabled into our system, so we have number of people who have some form of physical challenges that don’t impair them from doing the work that they are assigned to do.
“We also integrate our system or our work culture into our communities and we always ensure the surrounding communities, our suppliers, everybody who we are working with is integrated into those systems of health and safety.
“Then in terms of our competitiveness we have a good working culture with our suppliers, we have a business model that enhances cost-effectiveness so our drive is to ensure that our products arrive at our end users at the best price with the highest level of quality so throughout our value chains with our suppliers right through to our traders and retailers we have a working relationship and a business model that allows us to manage those costs.
The giant manufacturer said its collaborative efforts are a full partnership where they understand that from the backend of their supply chains right to the front of it they need to be collaborating.
Lafarge also revealed that it also has partners and stakeholders outside its value chain who also augment the work that it does in terms of driving the reputation of the organisation.
The company’s mission is to develop sustainable building solutions in Zimbabwe and to create value for our stakeholders.
Meanwhile, Manyeza has said the “Open for Business” mantra that has been adopted by the government is a welcome move for the construction sector as they stand to benefit from the various construction activities that will be taking place.
“Clearly the construction sector is a growing sector there is a huge thrust in terms of infrastructure development and also the availability of affordable housing for the ordinary Zimbabweans, so it is a big opportunity for an industry such as ours.
“And especially because as a company we have grown and diversified into ensuring that all of our products and by-products have some use in construction so there is a huge business opportunity there and huge sustainability opportunity as well,” she said.