The Zambia Compulsory Standards Agency (ZCSA) and the Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) have dispelled an assertion by Industry and Trade Minister Sekai Nzenza alleging that the quality of cement being manufactured in Zambia is poor.
Nzenza recently told Senate that cement produced in Zambia is cheap because it is of inferior quality.
Cement in Zambia cost between US$3.50 and US$6, while in Zimbabwe cost between US$10 and US$12, and asked why that is the case, Nzenza said:
“There are differences on the cement that is manufactured in Zambia and the one that we have in Zimbabwe. The differences are in quality and standards.
“I have a report that came from the Consumer Protection Council and they have highlighted that the cement from Zambia does not set very well when you apply it on the floor and if you use it on the wall, that wall may collapse. As the custodians of quality and standards in this country, we do not want to see that happening.”
However, ZCSA and ZABS have assured members of the public and other stakeholders that contrary to comments attributed to Nzenza, Cement produced in Zambia complies with the requirements of the Zambian National Standard for cement.
“The Zambian Standard ZSEN 197-1:2011 Cement – Part 1: Composition, specifications and conformity criteria for common cements is based on an international standard that is used globally by manufacturers, national standards bodies and regulators.
“This standard was declared compulsory in Zambia and therefore, all manufacturers and importers are required to comply with its requirements,” said the two bodies in a joint statement.
The Zambia Compulsory Standards Agency regulates Cement using this compulsory standard through routine factory inspections which include periodic testing of the product and this is supplemented by open market surveillance inspections to ensure continued compliance with the requirements of the compulsory standard.
Further, ZABS has awarded product certification status to local cement brands and conducts routine monitoring to ensure continued adherence to the scheme rules. Product certification provides third party and independent attestation for conformity to ZSEN 197-1:2011.
“ZCSA and ZABS wish to assure members of the public that the cement produced by all the manufacturers in Zambia meets the requirements of the Zambia Standard ZS EN 197-1:2011 and have not received any consumer complaints relating to the issues highlighted in the social media article.
“We are confident that the Cement being supplied by our manufacturers on the Zambian market in general and exported to various destinations complies with both local and international standards,” said the two organisations.
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