By Tirivanhu Kateera
Presenting the 2021 National Budget, Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube said the revival of Ziscosteel was key to the economy through its potential benefits in job creation and value chain impact in companies such National Railways of Zimbabwe and Hwange Colliery and the resultant savings in foreign currency in excess of US$1 billion through importation of steel products.
“In 2021, Government will resuscitate Ziscosteel through innovation and harnessing inward opportunities, while working closely with local investors. This will be done through courting new investors who will bring new technology and new skills,” Prof. Ncube said.
“While the search for new investors is in progress, Government is currently implementing a short-term roadmap of resuscitating the firm’s subsidiaries which include ZimChem, Lancashire Steel, and Buchwa Iron Mining Company (Bimco) among others,” he said.
Meanwhile, Minister Ncube said the current operations were targeted at raising capital through the sale of waste and boulders, among other activities, while plans were underway to resuscitate the mills to restart the manufacturing processes which are expected to benefit Lancashire Steel.
“Accordingly, ZWL$2.3 billion has been allocated to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce to spearhead the industrialization thrust,” he said.
The country targets to grow manufactured exports by 4.1% in 2021 from an estimate of 3.6% in 2020. This will be achieved through focusing on diversifying exports into non-traditional markets and exploiting existing preferential trading agreements with various countries.