HARARE - Products of global consumer hygiene and health manufacture, Reckitt Benckiser (RB), such as ‘Cobra’, are in short supply in most retail chains following the closure of its local factory.
RB managing director, Agrippa Mandiwona said the company was facing transitional challenges thus affecting its supply chain.
“The shortages are temporary and have been caused by some unforeseen complexities we faced during the transition process from the route to market.
“Our valued consumers should expect the products back on the shelves of our valued retailers before the end of this month of January,” he said.
The company, which also manufactures other popular brands such as Dettol, Disprin, Harpic, Jik, Nugget shoe polish and Air Wick air freshener was forced to cease operations, citing a high cost structure.
“Manufacturing and cost inefficiencies’ that are derived from economies of scale make it necessary for companies like ours to consolidate as many of our operations as is feasible to reduce the overheads component in our cost structures,” Mandiwona said.
RB is however, said to have opted to import its brand products from South Africa which will be distributed by local agents as compared to having a fully fledged operation adding to widening trade deficit projected to reach $8,4 billion this year.
RB joins a high number of companies that have shut down their operations locally citing factors such as shortages of raw materials, power, water and long term funding to sustain their businesses, affecting the competitiveness of local products.
The National Social Security Authority (Nssa) says between July 2011 and July 2013, 711 companies folded in Harare alone, resulting in 10 000 job losses.
A report by the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries says capacity utilisation for the manufacturing sector which stood at 44,9 percent, declined to 39,6 percent.