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Gweru-based steel manufacturer Midlands Metals has established distribution centres across the country as part of its expansion strategy. The steel firm is one of the few surviving industries in the Midlands capital which manufactures products for the mining, farming and construction industries.

Midlands Metals operations director, Tatenda Karimazondo, said they were setting up distribution centers in Bulawayo, Gwanda, Penhalonga, Arcturus and Bindura among other centres.
"This is part of our efforts to increase our market share in the industry and it's also a way of taking our products to the market. We supply products for the various sectors of the economy and we've identified areas which have potential demand for our products," he said.

"We've already opened distribution centres in Bulawayo and Gwanda in Matabeleland South where there's a lot of mining activity going on there. As a firm we also want to penetrate the northern parts of the country where we intend to set up sites in Arcturus, Harare, Bindura as well as Penhalonga where customers can have access to quality mining products."
Karimazondo said among the products for distribution in the market were hammer mills for small-scale miners.

"This is our way of capacitating the small-scale miners because these mills aren't expensive with the cheapest costing $3,000 which can crush three tonnes per hour. Therefore, this is a way of empowering our small-scale miners to say they can set up their own milling plants, which will go a long way in ensuring that they increase on their returns and reduce their overheads," he said.
The company has been facing viability challenges due to the volatility of the South African rand against the greenback which has seen locals preferring to import products which are relatively cheaper. To compete against the regional players, the company has reduced its prices by 20 percent and also asked its suppliers to do the same.

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