Cable Corp. Can Satisfy Local Demand
It is exactly 52 years since Cable Corporation Ltd was incorporated by the Mehta Group to manufacture a wide range of cables and electric wires.
Mr. T.S. Sundaram, the chief executive officer, says Cable Corporation Ltd is leveraging on its long history and experience to be the leading manufacture of high quality electric cables in the region.
Established in 1967 to supply cables to the Uganda Electricity Board (UEB), Cable Corporation was until 1972 run by the Mehta Group. It was nationalised and embedded into UEB up to 1980 when the Government invited the original owners to return to Uganda.
It was run under a 51-49 per cent share arrangement in favour of the Government until 2009, when it was fully privatised to the Mehta Group. Over the years, the company has gradually improved on the quality and quantity of its products. It expanded its production in 2011/2012 to manufacture large cable sizes of up to 4 core 300 sq.mm and XLPE insulated cables, which were required by Umeme as a new product. It started using aerial bundled cables (ABC) in 2012. By 2017, the production processes had been fully modernized and expanded.
Today, Cable Corporation manufactures very high quality products certified to UNBS, ISO 9001:2015 (Quality Management System), ISO 14001:2015 (Environmental Management System) & OHSAS 18001:2007 specifications and has the capacity to meet the local demand for cables.
However, the market liberalization favouring imports is one of the biggest challenges the company is facing. Mr Sundaram says that while the BUBU Policy is a very commendable initiative, it is affected by turn-key projects in that when contracts are awarded to multinational Chinese or Indian companies, they bring duty-free and VAT-free import materials from their countries of origin. Rather than supporting the local industry, Uganda is in effect exporting jobs to India and China by importing from those countries!
Cable Industry is operating at 50% capacity utilisation at present but if the ‘BUBU’ Policy is implemented properly, by using only locally-manufactured goods for Rural Electrification jobs, Cable industry will achieve full capacity utilization; the more they produce, the more profits they make and thus more growth in employment and economic development.
The advantage to the electric cable is the electricity network expansion that is seriously underway and the growing rural electrification scheme. “There are no electric conductor cables that we cannot supply to them. Our turnover is about US $ 12m annually, which translates into about Shs. 44bn. It would be in the region of Shs. 75bn if we supply to Rural Electrification Projects,” says Mr. T.S. Sundaram, the chief executive officer.
He adds that Cable Corporation Ltd. is, however, comforted by H.E. President Museveni’s keen interest in ensuring that it is given preference in supplying to Government projects, which, however, depends on the compliance of the procurement mechanisms.