Midlands hail plans to revive Ziscosteel

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Gweru (New Ziana) – The ruling ZANU-PF party Midlands province has hailed government’s move to resuscitate the defunct Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (Ziscosteel) and to increase production at Sable Chemical Industries, both based in the region, as a strategic move which will boost Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and create employment in upstream and downstream industries in the country.

The news on the revival of the Redcliff-based steel manufacturing company, was announced by Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube at the party’s Midlands Provincial Coordinating Committee meeting held recently.

“We understand that this is a province which is anchored on mining. We will resuscitate Zisco. We have a committee that is working flat out to make sure that this comes to fruition. We want to create more jobs and as such, this is part of that trajectory.

“We also have a programme to support local industry. What comes to mind is Sable Chemicals also located here in the Midlands province. We want to ensure that they reach their maximum capacity utilisation. This will help us in import substitution,” said Professor Ncube.

The Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) has taken over the scouting for a strategic investor for Ziscosteel and the scouting process will now be handled by the Zimbabwe Development Agency (Zida).

ZANU-PF Midlands secretary for information for publicity, Cornelius Mpereri hailed the new dispensation for the work it is doing in reviving operations at Ziscosteel and Sable Chemicals.

“As a province, we are excited by the news from the Minister of Finance, that the Government is working flat out to revive both Zisco and Sable Chemicals. We want those two giants operational.

“We know our provincial GDP will shoot sky high and employment in the province will be boosted. So, as provincial leadership, we hail the President’s plan for the revival of the two giants.”

Mpereri said the revival of Ziscosteel will not only benefit the Midlands province, but the whole sub-region, as it was the biggest steelworks in Southern Africa, bigger than ISCO of South Africa.

Before its collapse in 2008, Ziscosteel was Africa’s biggest integrated steel manufacturer, exporting to Europe and Asia as well as other African countries.

A 2014 study by Zimbabwe Economic Policy Analysis and Research Unit (Zeparu), stated that Zimbabwe lost over $20 billion in potential revenue as result of Ziscosteel’s collapse.

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