Story by John Nhandara
LOCAL bus manufacturing and assembling firm, Deven Engineering is on a rebound and is set to increase its production capacity, with a target to assemble more than 200 buses per year.
This emerged when Harare Metropolitan Province Permanent Secretary for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Mr Tafadzwa Muguti toured the company this Tuesday to assess operations.
The firm, a subsidiary of the Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe (IDCZ) is currently operating at 10 percent capacity and has so far assembled 26 buses using imported knockdown kits from China.
“Deven has got the capacity to manufacture 10 to 12 buses per day. Currently, we are operating at 10 percent but we can produce more,” said IDCZ-Acting Managing Director, Mr Edward Tome.
“We now have the technical know-how, the capacity, and we can now manufacture any bus for any terrain. We want to localise the production of components like brackets and bull bars.”
A partnership between Deven Engineering and a consortium of private bus operators, Amalgamated Bus Industry (ABI), will see more than 200 knockdown kits being imported this year for the production of over 200 buses.
“We have partnered with Deven and this year alone we intend to import about 250 knock-out kits so that we ramp up local production of buses,” said Amalgamated Bus Industries Chairman, Mr Shadreck Tiripano.
The government says it will continue capacitating local industry to promote import substitution and reduce production costs.
“The purpose of our visit is to try and look at how we can capacitate Deven in supporting the transport service network. We have the Manhize steel plant project and the long-term goal is to see the manufacturing of buses and components being done locally, that way we will lower production costs and create jobs,” said Minister Muguti.
Apart from assembling buses, Deven Engineering is also refurbishing second-hand and accident-damaged buses.