The government has declared cement an essential commodity putting it in the same group as rice and other food commodities.

The price of cement has in recent weeks gone up as demand soared on the commodity across the country. Dealers have been selling a bag of cement by up to D400.

The ministry of trade in a statement declared cement an essential commodity and imposed a price cap on the item.

“In view of this, government is imposing a price cap on the wholesale price of a bag of cement at D285 and a cap on the retail price at D305 with immediate effect.

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“Any entity/person found selling cement above the capped prices will be subject to the full penalty of the law as stipulated in the Consumer Protection Act 2014,” the ministry said in a statement on April 1.