But that was not all, Gabbuza said. ZISCO could also contribute about 100 megawatts of power to ease the electricity shortage the country is currently facing.
“If ZISCO Steel was operational; we went through the ESSAR proposal for the resuscitation of ZISCO Steel; it was going to assist in reducing the shortages of power in this country. The excess heat from blast furnace, ESSAR had proposed that they were going to channel the heat to produce more energy, about 100 megawatts of power. This is what we are losing. If ZISCO Steel was operational, by now we would have an extra 100 megawatts of energy which we desperately need in this time of power shortages.”
MR. GABBUZA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I wish to contribute to His Excellency’s debate presentation to the nation. Of importance I want to look at particularly one thing that His Excellency mentioned, the issue of industries-the importance of industries and how they contribute to the economy. Amounts those industries Mr. Speaker Sir, I have two particular industries that I want to talk about: ZISCO Steel and Sable Chemicals. I wish to show this House how intricate and how important those two companies are to the economy of this country.
Mr. Speaker Sir, ZISCO Steel was so important. When we went to school ZISCO Steel we never mentioned it as Zimbabwe Iron Steel Company, but it was Zimbabwe Integrated Steel Company. Why integrated Mr. Speaker Sir, this is what I wish to show. ZISCO Steel has been so important to the economy to the extent that even the Smith regime at some point in the 1970s, they used to meet as a Parliament at ZISCO Steel in the ZISCO Steel boardroom and that is part of our history. This clearly shows how important that the regime saw ZISCO Steel to this economy. Secondly, Mr. Speaker Sir, in the late 1970s, ZISCO Steel was one of those companies that was used to burst sanctions when Zambia and other countries closed out Rhodesia, ZISCO Steel was one of those companies that was used for sanction busting. Even up to now I think as an economy and as a country it is important that we see ZISCO Steel in that light.
How is ZISCO Steel related to the construction industry? Mr. Speaker Sir, on one of these days as I drove along Mvuma road, I counted up to 105 thirty tonne trucks carrying steel from South Africa. To my mind, I asked myself and said what would happen if these 105 tonne trucks were carrying steel coming from ZISCO Steel? That is quite a lot of money Mr. Speaker. To imagine that these trucks are traversing our roads on a daily basis and if you multiply the amount of money that we are wasting buying steel from South Africa instead of buying from our operational ZISCO Steel, I think the figures will be very surprising and important to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development.
If we look at SMEs, ZISCO contributed a lot to the SMEs in terms of providing angle irons for making scotch carts, deformed bars for the construction industry and many other things that we can think of that are made of iron. All these things we have lost and we are supporting the South African steel industries. I certainly agree with His Excellency when he talks about revitalising these industries so that they provide for the economy. It is quite saddening to note that after so many years of groundbreaking at ZISCO Steel nothing has started happening there. We must as a House look at this seriously and note how much we are losing in terms of economic growth.
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