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report of The Portfolio Committee on State Enterprises and Parastals
Management on Supply of Water Treatment Chemicals by Chemplex Corporation
on Harare City Council
December 16, 2010
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to March 2010, the Portfolio Committee on State Enterprises and
Parastatals carried out an inquiry on the functions and activities
of the Industrial Development Corporation. The Committee gathered
oral and written evidence from the Industrial Development Corporation's
officials based at IDC headquarters in Harare. The Committee also
conducted fact finding visits to selected IDC enterprises in Harare
and Chitungwiza. Amongst the companies visited was Chemplex Corporation
which owns Zimphos. Zimphos manufactures aluminium sulphate (alum)
at its factory situated in Msasa.
the evidence, the Committee produced a report which was tabled in
Parliament on 18th March 2010. In this report, the Committee highlighted
the plight of Chemplex, wherein Chemplex Corporation said it was
operating at 20% capacity utilization mainly due to the decision
by the Harare City Council to stop procuring liquid aluminium sulphate.
It was further reported that Harare City Council has been Chemplex's
biggest client through procuring 80% alum. The Zimphos factory was
designed to specifically meet the requirements of Harare City Council
for the past 5 decades.
The Harare City
Council did not have an opportunity to appear before the Committee
to give oral evidence, but furnished the Committee with a written
submission. Before the report was tabled in Parliament. After further
deliberations on Chemplex's plight and Harare City Council's decision,
the Committee invited both Harare City Council and Chemplex Corporation's
officials at the same time to discuss the matter, in particular
Harare City Council's side of the story.
The Committee received written and oral evidence from;
- Harare City
submissions and exhibits.
FINDINGS, OBSERVATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS.
The Harare City
Council officials in their presentation informed the Committee of
the Council's operations. It was said that the local authority has
two plants: Morton Jeffrey and Prince Edward and they produce about
600 mega litres (ML) and 100 ML per day respectively.
The Committee was informed that the Local Authority's Chemical bill
is US$2 million per month. Out of that bill, City of Harare is footing
60% and 40% is being paid for by UNICEF. However, it was made clear
that by the end of the year, around November and January, Harare
City Council will be meeting the full bill of US$2 million. In addition,
Harare City Council currently procures 155 Metric Tonnes (MT) of
Bulk Sulphuric Acid from Chemplex Corporation on a monthly basis.
UNICEF has placed an order of 3000MT of Granular Aluminium Sulphate
from Chemplex for the local authority.
The Committee learnt that there was a crisis from January 2008 to
February 2009. During this period, the Morton Jeffrey Water works
would be closed for several hours due to power cuts. The liquid
Aluminium Sulphate deliveries were not reliable and of poor quality.
It was emphasized to the Committee that during this period the Council
was left with no choice but to use the available product then. The
situation got so serious to the extent that owing to pressure from
some high level officials, local authority ended pumping sludge,
whose suitability was questioned.
revealed that there was a period whereby the responsibility to supply
water was on ZINWA's before being handed over to the City Council
in March 2009. During ZINWA's Administration, the volume of portable
water went down to about 333ML per day. When City of Harare took
over, the volume rose to the current level of 700ML from the two
sources, Morton Jeffrey and Prince Edward. Estimates though, indicate
that the demand for water is almost 1000ML per day, implying that
there is a shortfall of 300ML.
During the period
in question, Chemplex was equally affected by the power cuts, the
economic meltdown, lack of foreign currency and non payment by ZINWA.
It was explained to the Committee that the production of aluminium
sulphate requires water, and at that time it was unavailable. In
order to procure materials for water treatment, ZINWA moved to the
solid aluminium sulphate.
Upon being asked
by the Committee to confirm whether Harare City Council indeed had
stopped procuring Liquid aluminium sulphate, the response was that
it was indeed true that the Council had stopped procuring liquid
sulphate from Zimphos. The local authority stated that the city's
job was to reliably supply water, it is a requisite that the supply
of chemicals has to be viable. During the crisis period
Council informed the Committee it is policy that procurement of
goods and services, including water treatment chemicals go through
a tender process. The awarding of tender take into consideration
competitive pricing. This implies that Zimphos should go through
the tender process like any other bidders. It was further explained
that the tenders for water treatment chemicals has got specifications
requirements and those companies that do not meet the specifications
requirements and those companies that contract would be terminated.
In addition, the Council has floated the tender for an annual supply
and delivery of water treatment for 2010 which is currently under
adjudication. Find out % awarded to Chempex.
The City council
stressed to the Committee that the Council emphasizes on the issue
of quality and pricing, without any compromise. Whoever is to supply
chemicals to the authority should have the ability to supply the
The Harare City
Council restored regular supplies of potable water to areas that
have been affected for five years such as Mabvuku, Tafara and Epworth
UNICEF and other
donors came in handy, particularly during the cholera outbreak and
saved lives of citizens.
The City of
Harare is commended for the insistence on quality and price competitiveness
before procuring water treatment chemicals.
is operating below capacity, at about 20% utilization.
enquiry provided a platform for Harare City Council and Chemplex
Corporation to narrow the gap arising from relationship and both
are prepared to work together with the end of product providing
quality services to the citizens.
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