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Abrupt increase in cement prices a threat to business – Contractors

Increase in cement prices worries Kalingalinga contractors Kalingalinga contractors in the construction industry have complained over the recent hike in cement prices. Enoshad Enterprise Limited Supervisor, Justine Mutuma, told the Lusaka star in an interview that the increase in cement prices would adversely affect the construction industry.

Mr. Mutuma said an increase in cement prices meant an increase in the prices of blocks that his company makes. He revealed that last week’s cement prices were at K55, 000 per bag but had since risen to K65, 000.

“Cement is now K65, 000 and because of this, we will also try to make changes to our pricing so that we do not make a loss. We have employees that we have to pay and if we run at a loss it will not be good for them and for the company,” Mr. Mutuma said.

He challenged Lafarge to reduce their cement prices adding that the increase in cement prices will not only affect their businesses but their families as well. And another business proprietor in the construction industry, Muleya Mwemba, also expressed displeasure at the increased cement prices by Lafarge .

Mr. Muleya, who started moulding blocks for a living in 1995, said the increase in cement prices would force him to increase the price of blocks. He said this would affect his business as he is likely to lose many customers.

“I started this business with my friends and I have been able to take care of my family. Now the future of my business is threatened by the abrupt increase in cement prices,” he said. He explained that the K 10, 000 increment in cement prices by Lafarge was exaggerated.

“The K10, 000 increase in the price of cement is the profit that some of us make from the bags of cement. They are killing our business and how do we take care of our families? Apart from that how do I continue paying my workers if I am running at a loss?” he said.

He has since called on  government to intervene in the matter stating that if nothing is done the construction industry will go down and this will retard development of the country.

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