Freedom Mupanedemo in Redcliff
A team of engineers from Hong Kong is reportedly on the ground assessing the state of the now defunct Ziscosteel company, as Government intensifies efforts to lure suitors for the revival of the country largest steel producer.
R&F, a Hong Kong company, is reportedly working on a partnership frame work with Government towards the revival of the steel making giant.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa announced last week that Government would gazette the Ziscosteel Debt Assumption Bill to facilitate the take over of $380 million owed to creditors by the steel company.
This, he said, would make the partnership deal with the investor become attractive enough to pave way for its resuscitation.
Our Barare Bureau news crew visited the sleeping steel company in Redcliff yesterday and noticed some bit of activity at the company.
Haulage trucks were moving in and out of the plant premises clearing rubble, while employees from the Redcliff Municipality’s water and sewer department were seen working on bulk water valves within the plant.
Efforts to get a comment from Ziscosteel board chairman, Mr Nyasha Makuvise, were fruitless as his phone was not reachable.
The steel company’s workers committee chairman, Mr Benedict Moyo confirmed that there was a bit of some movement at the plant, but said they were yet to be briefed by the caretaker management on the goings on.
He expressed hope that the giant steel company would be revived soon as the employees had started receiving their salaries.
“We have heard there is a new investor and as employees, we have started getting part of the money which we are being owed by the company which we are getting in batches,” said Mr Moyo.
“We are yet to be briefed by the caretaker management, but we are hopeful that there will be a change of fortunes for us as workers in particular and the nation at large.”
Mr Moyo said the employees were happy that Government was prioritising the revival of Ziscosteel.
He said the revival of Ziscosteel was critical and should go hand in hand with the resuscitation of the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ).
“I was once the transport manager at Ziscosteel and used to run what we called the “stock control” which oversaw the deliveries that were going out and by then, NRZ used to get 60 percent of all its jobs from Ziscosteel,” he said.
“You can see how Ziscosteel should be in the picture when Government is talking of the revival of NRZ.”
Redcliff mayor, Councillor Fred Kapuya, confirmed that there was some activity at Ziscosteel towards the resuscitation of the steel giant.
He said Redcliff town was pinning hopes on the revival of the firm.
“We have seen some movement there and I understand there are engineers on the ground,” said Clr Kapuya.
“It’s a welcome move for us as Redcliff and we are very happy the new Government has taken it as a priority that this critical company be revived.
“It’s a welcome move not only for us, but the country as a whole.”
Mr Kapuya said the revival of Redcliff presented a huge opportunity for many youths who were not employed.
“Most of the Ziscosteel employees have reached retirement age and once it is revived, they will take their pension and it’s an opportunity for most of our youths,” he said.