Thursday 8 September 2022


PLASTIC container making, honey and fruit processing factories have been established at the National University of Science and Technology (Nust) as the institution angles to play a critical role in Bulawayo’s re-industrialisation agenda.

Nust is leading the establishment of Bulawayo Technology Centre which is a tripartite arrangement which involves Government and the Bulawayo Polytechnic College.

The new factories are part of Zimbabwe and India partnership.  The Asian country sourced the machines on behalf of Zimbabwe.

Government institutions have taken a lead in pulling in the same direction to achieve the Second’s Republic’s vision of empowering every citizen through deliberately partaking in practical activities that solve society’s problems, under the industrialisation thrust.

The projects at the Bulawayo Technology Centre were supposed to start running in 2020 but the outbreak of Covid-19 stalled the mounting of the plant.

A Chronicle news crew yesterday toured the facility and observed that most of the new equipment had been installed.

Indian technicians are also expected in the country to complete the installation of the plant.

The news crew was taken through the honey processing, plastic container manufacturing and fruit jam production processes and was shown some of the plastic products that are made at the factory.

The university is able to produce various plastic containers of up to 15 litres.

Honey processing is being done on a trial basis awaiting certification by the Standards Association of Zimbabwe.

Nust’s Pro-Vice Chancellor, Innovation and Business Development Dr William Goriwondo said the establishment of the Bulawayo Technology Centre is expected to benefit industry as well.

“The equipment is coming through as a partnership between Zimbabwe and the Indian government. We call it the Indo-Zim partnership which has brought machines here. We are establishing the Bulawayo Technology Centre where we have various equipment that is going to be used to make various products with Nust housing this equipment,” said Dr Goriwondo.

“We are also working with the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation and Technology Development as our parent ministry and Bulawayo Polytechnic is involved as well. In terms of installation of the equipment we have done most of the equipment and final touches are done and we are working with engineers and technicians from India.”

He said local technicians will be trained to operate the machinery by their Indian counterparts as part of skills transfer.

Technicians from the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development have been deployed on site.

Dr Goriwondo said Indian engineers are expected to teach Nust academics how to fix the machines.

He said the plant is expected to be commissioned before the end of the year.

“The installation is just starting. The machines have been here through pre-Covid-19 era but could not be installed because the engineers could not come. But after the lifting of the ban on travel we are finalising the installation. At the moment we are just finalising the set up for commissioning and we are saying by the end of this quarter we should be having the machines running,” said Dr Goriwondo.

He could not quantify the cost of the machinery saying it was a donation from the Indian government.

Dr Goriwondo said the products that are going to be manufactured on site will support local industries.

He said universities will also produce commercial products in response to what the market requires. Chronicle


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