The National Social Security Authority has unveiled a $20 million loan facility to recapitalise the Cold Storage Company (CSC) in Masvingo Industrial Area.
The CSC's beef processing plant has been lying idle for the past 12 years. Over 500 direct jobs are expected to be created once the plant starts operating.
Masvingo Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Senator Josaya Hungwe said during a recent tour of the plant that it would be easy to reopen as most of the machinery was still functional. CSC management had told NSSA they required $14 million to resume operations, but NSSA resolved to inject more funds.
"We are happy that NSSA has agreed to inject a substantial amount of money towards the resuscitation of the CSC Masvingo plant, NSSA will avail $20 million," said Senator Hungwe.
He called on the CSC management to ensue critical modalities were timeously done to ensure the plant reopens soon and starts benefiting the people of Masvingo.
"I am informed management is doing something towards the resuscitation of this company (CSC), over and above NSSA overtures. I therefore appeal to the management team to put all hands on the deck as we prepare for resumption of operations in the near future," said Senator Hungwe.
CSC Masvingo Branch Manager Mr Sadzahuchi said out of all CSC branches in the country, their branch had the lowest debt. He said the Masvingo plant will resume operations within three months of officially sealing its loan deal with NSSA.
"We only have a debt of $1,5 million being outstanding water and electricity bills which accrued during the 11 years that we were not operating. We are in a far much better position compared to other branches across the country.
"For plant repairs we need $2 million, another $3 million for working capital, and pasture development infrastructure at our Mushandike Ranch, which covers 1 000 hectares, will require $7 million," said Mr Sadzahuchi.
At its peak, CSC Masvingo used to employ more than 6 000 permanent and contract workers while slaughtering about 500 beasts a day.
The beef processing giant exported beef to the European Union, earning the country millions of dollars in foreign currency annually.