With support from the Joint Action of the Support towards Industrialisation and the Productive Sectors (SIPS) in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Region, Zimbabwean firm, Sable Chemicals, will intensify the fight against COVID-19 by commissioning a fully-fledged disinfectant production line focusing on sanitisers and other personal hygiene chemicals.
This project will reorganise the production process of the company from the traditional focus on agricultural chemicals to cater for disinfectants. It will contribute to the fight against COVID-19 in the community, the country and the SADC Region at large.
This will lead to an increased and more efficient production, and to value addition in the market by reaching out to more customers. The project is also expected to benefit other small chemical manufacturers seeking tolling arrangements both in production and packaging. Tolling is an agreement under which a third party provider with a specialised production plant processes raw materials or semi-finished products for another company.
After the global outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the first quarter of 2020, Sable Chemical responded to its corporate social responsibility commitments and commissioned a production line for the manufacture of hand sanitisers, hand washing soap, disinfectants for its workforce as well as the local community of Kwekwe, a city in the Midlands Province in central Zimbabwe.
The company is a subsidiary of the Masawara Holdings Group and sells its products to several subsidiaries within the group of companies, in addition to supplying national and non-governmental organisation tenders.
The Joint Action SIPS is providing a €51,642 grant to Sable Chemical Industries Limited for the automation of the chemicals packaging line through the procurement and installation of an automated packaging system. The project aims at enhancing the production volumes of three personal hygiene chemical lines namely hand sanitisers, hand washing soap and disinfectants, for a wider market reach.
Sable Chemicals is currently dispensing and packaging the personal hygiene products manually and this is limiting the rate of production. Therefore, the project seeks to match the production capacity with the packaging capacity to ensure a smooth process flow and improved output.
Sable Chemicals targets to create 17 new jobs and in addition, the company will continue to employ up to up 15 student interns across its value chain with a bias towards women.
Given its reputation in the agro-chemicals sector and strong establishment of the brand for over 50 years, with support from the SIPS Joint Action, the company will diversify and venture into the disinfectant market to curb the spread of COVID-19 while creating employment opportunities and contributing towards the Zimbabwean economy with possibilities of exporting its quality assured products.
The SADC Secretariat manages the €18 million Joint Action SIPS, financed by the European Union (EU) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The Joint Action aims to develop the private sector, focusing on anti-retroviral (ARV), COVID-19 related medical and pharmaceutical products (CMPP), and leather value chains in the SADC region. The objective of the Joint Action SIPS is to enhance industrialisation and regional integration, and to improve the performance and growth of regional value chains and related services in the SADC region.
The Joint Action SIPS supports SADC’s industrialisation and regional integration agenda. It aims to enhance policy, regulatory and business environment at national and regional levels for development and sustainable operation of regional value chains.
The Joint Action facilitates public-private sector dialogue for the identification of bottlenecks in the policy and regulatory environment. It promotes the establishment, the technology transfer, and the marketing of products. It will also support the implementation of national and regional work plans aimed at strengthening regional value chain policy and regulatory environment.
Following the outbreak of COVID-19, early in 2020, the SADC Secretariat agreed with the EU Delegation to Botswana and BMZ to expand the Joint Action SIPS’ scope to CMPP as a priority.
SADC subsequently called for proposals from CMPP-manufacturers, including personal protective equipment, hand sanitisers and hospital disinfectants, and ventilators.
Sable Chemicals is one of the 14 companies in the SADC Region that have received support under the Joint action SIPS, a programme co-funded by the European Union and the Government of Germany and managed by the SADC Secretariat.