Listed brick-maker, Willdale Limited is considering venturing into the Southern African market to expand its clientele base ahead of anticipated regional economic recovery post-COVID-19.
Willdale produces common bricks, face bricks, semi-faced bricks, pavers and other related brick products for the construction industry.
The World Bank projects the sub-saharan Africa to grow 2.7 percent in 2021 anchored by post-COVID-19 recovery.
“The future economic prospects of the Southern African region provide potential opportunities for the housing market. The Group has been considering penetrating markets in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries,” said Willdale chief executive officer, Nyasha Matonda.
“We believe the economic recovery in the region Post-COVID19 will stimulate the construction industry and provide business opportunities for the company,” he said.
Last year, prior to the enforcement of COVID-19 restrictions across the region, Matonda told state media that the company was specifically eyeing Zambia and Mozambique.
“We have not been into exporting although we are still trying to go into the export market, especially in Zambia and Mozambique. The biggest challenge is on educating some of the markets. In Zambia and Mozambique people mainly use cement bricks more than clay so there is a lot of education we need to carry out. We have already made some inroads in Zambia and we will continue to pursue strategies to open up the Zambian export market,” Matonda said.
However, due to the strict lock-downs enforced across the regional bloc to combat the spread of the virus for much of last year, plans were halted.
The move comes at a time, most companies in the country are riding on export receipts to earn foreign currency to meet production costs as opposed to relying on the foreign currency auction system that is often overwhelmed with bidders.
The company currently has six sales offices across the country with its headquarter located in Harare.