Shayona personnel and administration manager Rowland Mwalweni confirmed the development, saying the company planned to fire more people, but government intervened by releasing forex for the company to import the materials.
“Our production has drastically dropped because we cannot import materials. This is why we laid off some employees last month [January] because we cannot keep too many people when there is less work.
“In fact, we would have laid off more this month because our warehouses are empty. But government has given us forex and we are expecting the materials soon so we are not laying off anyone,” he said.
Shayona, which supplies 20 percent of the total cement required for Malawi, imports its production materials from South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
But due to forex problems, it has not been importing, resulting in the fall in production levels and supply on the market.
Mwalweni, however, said the forex which government has released will improve cement production and supply, but he could not say whether cement price on the market will be affected.
He could not indicate how much forex was provided and how far it would take the company in terms of production.
He also added that the company is now constructing a bigger factory to produce enough cement for the country.