Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
CONVERYOR belt manufacturer, General Beltings Holdings, is courting foreign investors for $5 million working capital credit lines to increase production and regain market share.
The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed company is the country’s sole manufacturer of conveyor belts.
The firm’s general manager, Wilbroad Tsuroh, said the prevailing economic situation in the country was making it difficult for companies to secure credit lines.
“The board is still working on ways to raise $5 million working capital that we require. The general tight liquidity situation and general economic climate have made it difficult for investors to commit their funding. If we don’t get it ($5 million credit lines) from off shore, we’ll soldier on and the board will look forward to other strategies to raise the required funding,” he said.
Of the required $5 million, General Beltings’ immediate requirement was between $2 million to $3 million to resuscitate some of its production machinery.
Depending on availability of orders, the conveyor belt manufacturer’s capacity utilisation sometimes goes close to zero.
Tsuroh said increased production would enable his organisation to increase market share from about 10 percent to 50 percent by midyear.
“Since last year, our capacity hasn’t changed from last year. Our capacity is constantly changing because we’re doing order financing.
“If a customer has a tight time limit you might find out that our capacity utilisation can raise up to 60 percent; in which case people (workforce) could be sent home if our capacity goes close to zero,” said Tsuroh.
The company has been struggling to get back on its feet and restore confidence among its major clients largely big mining houses.
Apart from conveyor belts, the firm also manufactures specialised fire, heat and oil resistant belting, specialised PVC belting, transmission belting, splicing services and belt surveys.
General Beltings is one of the companies that accessed funding under the Distressed Industries and Marginalised Areas Fund (Dimaf).
It secured $1 million from Dimaf and in October last year the company said it had paid $500,000, of which $300,000 was towards capital and the balance was interest.