Defunct steel giant, Ziscosteel, is expected to be up and running in the next 12 months, Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Sekai Nzenza has said.
Dr Nzenza said the Government was proactive in its development agenda and for the first time in over two decades, Ziscosteel would be back on its feet.
She said there had been doubts over the revival of Ziscosteel after the previous administration signed unsuccessful deals with potential investors such as Essar Holdings of Mauritius and R & F Construction company of China.
“This is now a different story with the new Government led by President Mnangagwa. His mantra is production and production and the resuscitation of Ziscosteel is one of this Government’s top priority,” she said.
Dr Nzenza, who was meeting Ziscosteel management and its new partner, Kuvimba Mining House at the company premises in Redcliff on Tuesday, said Ziscosteel was a national asset and its revival was one of the Second Republic’s key deliverables.
“Zisco is a national asset and every other industry is either an upstream or downstream industry. This is why the new administration is determined to make sure that Ziscosteel gets back to its feet in the next 12 months before it gradually gets back to its former glory,” she said.
Dr Nzenza said the Government had identified a local company to partner and invest into Ziscosteel after many foreign investors previously failed to fulfil their initial agreements.
“President Mnangagwa is on record saying Zimbabwe is for Zimbabweans, we must build our nation as Zimbabweans and we are very confident of this local firm which has come on board with vast expertise to turn around Zisco,” she said.
The Minister said Zimbabwe was endowed with vast mineral deposits and Ziscosteel would be taping on the availability of these resources for its resuscitation.
Once the company was up and running, Zimbabwe will reduce its huge import bill on steel products.
“President Mnangagwa has been passionate about this import bill substitution agenda. We need value addition and we have the resources and this is why we are determined to have this company back,” she said.
Ziscosteel board chairman, Engineer Martin Manuhwa, said there would be a US$300 million capital injection to kick-start the revival of Zisco.
The capital injection is expected to grow to up to $1 billion in the next three years.
Eng Manuhwa said Kuvimba Mining House had mobilised a team of experts who are now on the ground for feasibility studies, among other issues.
At its peak, Ziscosteel used to employ about 6 000 people directly and over 50 000 others indirectly.
It was one of the largest steel producers in Southern Africa.