THE collapse of steel production in Zimbabwe is negatively impacting on business, with companies such as Treger Products, who use large quantities of the commodity, facing a difficult future.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
Zimbabwe’s steel production is currently in the doldrums following the collapse of Ziscosteel in 2008 due to choking financial constraints.
Before its collapse, Zisco was the largest integrated steel works company in Africa, with a capacity to produce one million tonnes of the commodity annually.
Efforts to revive Zisco suffered a stillbirth, with mining giant Essar Africa Holdings, which had promised to inject $650 million, pulling out due to political bickering.
Diversified Bulawayo group, Treger Products, one of the largest consumers of steel in the country, says the future looks challenging, as they spend thousands of dollars importing the product.
“The year 2017 might turn out to be more challenging, but we are hoping that the challenges would be overcome. The challenges are emanating from steel because the group uses a lot of steel, which is being bought outside Zimbabwe, but we are selling our products locally,” group corporate affairs executive, Tich Garabga, said.
As of January 5, 2017 the price of steel stood at $300 per tonne.
Treger has five manufacturing divisions — Monarch Steel, Kango Products, Treger Plastics, Zimbabwe Grain Bag and Treger Harare.
Garabga said they remained optimistic of better days, despite these challenges.
“Generally, as a group, we remain positive. Shareholders have no doubt whatsoever at the success of business in Zimbabwe,” he said.
Treger Products is part of the privately-owned Treger Group of companies and has been operating in Zimbabwe since 1911.