6 September 2017

Zimbabwe: NSSA Injects $18m Into CSC

CABINET has approved the investment of $18 million towards the revival of the Cold Storage Company (CSC) by the National Social Security Authority (NSSA).

Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development (Livestock) Paddy Zhanda yesterday said the $18 million would go a long way in bringing CSC back on its feet and boost economic growth. He said a few issues regarding the Scheme of Arrangement with creditors were being finalised ahead of the commencement of business at CSC next month.

Deputy Minister Zhanda was addressing farmers during the Competition and Tariff Commission workshop on the study of the Zimbabwe beef industry in Bulawayo yesterday.

"I'm happy to announce that Cabinet has approved the investment, which will be between $18 and $20 million. We have an investor, NSSA with money ready to invest in the revival of CSC. It's just minor issues that we're going through, particularly the Scheme of Arrangement that was not agreed upon. Once the court processes have gone through, I can assure you CSC will be back on track in October.

"I've worked tirelessly under difficult circumstances to make sure that CSC is back on track and President Mugabe has called me to Cabinet and told me to deal with the issue of CSC. It's certain that the process of turning around CSC will start soon," said Deputy Minister Zhanda.

He said despite the Foot and Mouth disease outbreak that has affected the livestock industry, the economy is going to benefit immensely from the revival of CSC.

"CSC is a catalyst of the beef industry and it will bring fair pricing in the market. It's revival will definitely improve the economy in terms of exporting beef. It will unlock value in the livestock industry through job creation and foreign currency earnings.

"We know how important CSC is to not only the people of Matabeleland but the entire country. We're therefore committed as Government and working tirelessly to make sure that CSC is back on its feet," said Deputy Minister Zhanda.

"We know how important CSC is to not only the people of Matabeleland but the entire country. We're therefore committed as Government and working tirelessly to make sure that CSC is back on its feet," said Deputy Minister Zhanda.

CSC, at one time the largest meat processor in Africa, handled up to 150 000 tonnes of beef and associated by-products every year and exported beef to the European Union, where it had an annual quota of 9 100 tonnes of beef.

In its heyday, it used to earn Zimbabwe at least $45 million annually. CSC is saddled with a debt of more than $25 million mainly as a result of fixed costs such as wages, rates and taxes on land. The CSC is in dispute with its creditors, mainly its 413 former workers, who are owed about $4million in salary arrears. The company has for the past ten years been making an annual loss of $6 million. The firm is now operating at less than 10 percent of its capacity.

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