THE catering industry in Bulawayo is feeling the pinch due to extremely low business as the country’s economy continues on a downward spiral.
In separate interviews with Southern Eye Business this week, players in the catering industry said there was no business in Bulawayo and as a result players were suffering due to controlled prices.
M&M Joyous Events director Eunice Dlamini said market prices were next to zero due to a volatile economy and liquidity crunch currently haunting Zimbabwe.
“There is no business to talk about. People do not want to spend because they cannot afford to. The market prices are next to zero because there are a lot of players in the industry as currently we are over 1 001,” Dlamini said.
“We are drowning in debts and clients are charging themselves as we are no longer in control of the business. Even if we were to get money from the government for recapitalisation we cannot do anything because people do not have money.”
She added that they were hoping that the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair slated for next week would bring joy to them, but their dream was easily vanishing as no one has booked them.
“Trade fair is not bringing any hope as we do not have any bookings so far this year,” Dlamini said.
M&M Joyous Events provides catering and décor services for functions, weddings, corporate functions and offer tents for hire.
An official at Occasions Co-ordinators who declined to be named also bemoaned same developments.
“It is sad and the situation reminds us of 2008. Business is very limited because big companies we used to rely on are struggling,” the official said.
“April used to be our peak month as we used to have at least six weddings to cover, but this time there is nothing. We have tried even to lower down our rates, but it is not working.”
Gas, Camp and Tools manager Warren Duplessis echoed similar sentiments, but said prices of food items would not go down, saying demand is always high.
Business lobby groups have been pushing the government to declare Bulawayo as a special economic zone.
Bulawayo’s few surviving companies have been let down by poor water and power supplies which have had adverse effects on productivity.