HOARDING of cement which has led to price surge can be likened to sabotage to the ongoing infrastructural development projects taking place across the country.
Cement manufacturers have from time to time maintained that they are clean from what seems to be a syndicate of few unfaithful people to create artificial shortages of cement in the domestic market.
The government issued at the weekend strong warning to any institution, company or individual involved in this dirt game that will in the long run affect the construction sector.
Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa directed investigation of cement factories, suppliers, wholesalers and retailers and take punitive measures against those hoarding cement to raise cement prices.
The premier directed regional commissioners to use their security committees in regions to conduct inspection of agents and arrest those found to be hoarding the product.
According to a survey in different parts of the country, the retail cement prices have soared from between 14,000/- and 15,000/- to an average of 24,000/-.
Some of the industries that are functional included Tanzania Portland Cement Plc (Twiga), Dangote Group, Lake (Nyati) Cement, Tanga Cement (Simba), Mbeya Cement (Tembo), Kilimanjaro Cement (Kilimanjaro).
The survey has established that some industries stopped production in October and November to pave the way for repairs of machinery.
Tanzania is implementing various mega infrastructure projects across the country making use of cement and thus any attempt to increase price may have huge impacts.
Some of the ongoing infrastructural development projects are namely the 2,115MW Nyerere Hydropower project, the standard gauge railway, construction of bridges, flyovers, roads - all of which use cement.
The high cost of cement may pose a significant threat to the construction industry which has been contributing greatly to the economy.
Increased cement price may have a huge impact on individuals implementing small-scale construction projects, may stall ongoing projects, including the construction of residential houses.
Furthermore, in the long run cement price surge may impact on the nation’s infrastructural development projects by pushing up construction costs.
The cost residential house projects will increase while builders and developers may have no option, but increase charges.
Therefore, to address a rise in cement prices in the local market calls for joint efforts from all stakeholders in the construction industry.