How the revival of ZISCO will solve half of Zimbabwe’s economic problems


These are the areas where the Minister must put money and make sure those mines are resuscitated. Number 3 is Hwange Colliery; it has the best coal in the sub-region, low sulphur coal, very high calorific value which means when you burn a gram of coal, you produce more energy than any other coal. We have coking coal for making coke which is needed in steel manufacture, we also have power coal for all the power stations we have in the sub-region. We have the best coal on Hwange. Now, I was just looking at the statistics, South Africa does not have coking coal, they need our coal and they use 100 000 tonnes per month, just South Africa alone. Zimbabwe produces more than that, we have even deposits in Lusulu, we have deposits in Lubu and Gokwe which have not been tapped but we have 100 000 of that coal required in South Africa every month. Per tonne of coke is US$300 and if you multiply US$300 multiplied by 100 000 that is already US$30m per month from South Africa alone. They are looking for this coal all over, it is not available expect in Zimbabwe and we have done nothing as a country to tap on this.

If you go to Hwange workers have not been paid for I do not know how many months. They are not even mining, the coke is there and they are bringing in private people to do the mining. Why do we not put money in Hwange to make sure we start producing and supply; South Africa alone will give us US$30m a month – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – There is no need for us taxing people 15% VAT and all these other small taxes because there is enough money in our minerals.

The next issue is the issue of industries, Madam Speaker; I was looking at how other countries have resuscitated their fortunes. Look at South Korea and others, we do not need to spread a lot of money all over, if we just strategically targeted a few industries, for example Dunlop, it was the only size16 tyre manufacturer in Zimbabwe. Actually, it is the only one that manufactures tyres in Zimbabwe or in the sub-region but we have allowed Dunlop to close. By so doing we have allowed Chinese sub-standard tyres to flood our markets. We all know that when these Chinese tyres come, it is accidents and we are using foreign currency to import. If you ask Dunlop how much money they need to resuscitate or to keep on going, perhaps it is far less than what we are using to import tyres. So, why do you allow such industries like Dunlop to close when it is the only tyre manufacturer in the sub-region and they have the best tyres?

Dunlop Zimbabwe was better than Dunlop South Africa because South African Dunlop was actually importing and relabeling our tyres but we allowed such strategic industries to close. The other area that we need to look at because we talk a lot about value addition, if we look at all the kitchen products, things that are used by our mothers in the kitchen, cooking oil et cetera, soaps and all these basic household commodities, they are all coming from South Africa and yet we used to manufacture them here. The other day I was looking for Buttercup margarine – Mazowe Drink is one of our best products and even if you go to South Africa, they will ask for Mazowe but we have allowed Mazowe manufacturer to close down or to go low and yet that is a major source. If we just did basic manufacture of kitchen commodities which every one of us needs, we would save a lot of foreign currency and we would create a lot of jobs. The market is already there because everyone uses these basic commodities. We do need to have time to put just a little bit of money to resuscitate these industries.

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The Insider

The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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