The Tanzanian government has renewed efforts to begin the production of tyres in the country, Footprint to Africa reports.
The government has appointed a team of consultants to study and propose approaches for building a tyre manufacturing plant in Tanzania.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Marketing, Dr Adelhem Meru, revealed this yesterday before the Parliamentary Committee on Industry Trade and Environment when presenting a report on efforts to revive the defunct General Tyre East Africa Limited (GTEA).
He said that in order to implement the government’s plan it was necessary to identify and propose appropriate approaches to resuming tyre manufacturing in the country.
He said that the main objectives of assigning the team of consultants is to undertake technological survey of the global tyre production industry and propose appropriate approach and technologies for Tanzania to become a regional player in tyre manufacturing.
The team comprise of experts from University of Dar es Salaam’s Bureau for Industrial Cooperation, Tanzania Industrial Research and Development (TIRDO), National Social Security Funds (NSSF)and Ministry of Industry Trade and Marketing.
Dr Meru explained that in efforts to revive the GTEA, technical audits were performed in 2014 and in May 2016. “Key findings of these studies showed that most of the existing factory technology and facilities cannot competitively cope with the current market demands … major identified limitations were on outdated technology, limited production capacity and brands, high energy consumption and low level of automation,” Dr Meru said.
Dr Meru said that the team of consultants will work on the assignment for fourteen days and submit the report to the Parliamentary committee and thereafter it will proceed with verification study.
The Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Charles Mwijage, assured that the appointed team will work on the assignment and submit the report to the Committee to get stakeholders views and then present it to the cabinet.
He said that as minister in charge of Industry, Trade and Investment will ensure that the government gets competent investor to partner in the tyre manufacturing. Mr Mwijage noted that the install capacity of GTEA is 300,000 tyres per year but it can increase depending on the country and regional demand. He however noted that they were currently in dilemma on whether to establish a tyre manufacturing plant or to cultivate natural rubber.
Monduli MP, Julius Kalanga (Chadema) questioned involvement of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) in the study survey team, saying the fund has high interest in the industry. Konde MP, Khatib Said Haji (CUF) urged the government to do all it takes to revive the industry, saying the demand for tyres in the country is very high.
He noted that there is need to adopt new technology in the revival plan, saying a lot of changes have taken place since the industry was closed almost ten years ago.
“Let the government reflect on the investment at Urafiki textile where despite having the necessary raw materials in the country, the industry is at its knees,” he said.
The Committee chairman Dr Dalali Kafumu also questioned the involvement of the National Social Security Fund in the study team while it has vested interests in the GTEA.