NSSA eyes CSC equity

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National Social Security Authority head office at Corner Selous Avenue and Simon Muzenda Street in Harare

THE National Social Security Authority (NSSA) says its $18 million investment deal to revive Cold Storage Company (CSC) was on course, with positive engagements underway that will culminate in the eventual issue of equity in its favour.

BY MTHANDAZO NYONI

The State-run pension fund intends to pour in $18m to recapitalise CSC in an equity investment deal.

NSSA acting chief executive officer, Emerson Mungwariri, told NewsDay in emailed responses that CSC transaction was underway.
“The Cold Storage Company transaction is underway, with Nssa confirming its interest in participating in the resuscitation of the former beef producer in Zimbabwe,” Mungwariri said.

“Positive engagements that will culminate in the eventual issue of equity in favour of NSSA are underway between NSSA, government and CSC. We believe that this will provide a good start to the revival journey of CSC,” he said.

CSC was one of Zimbabwe’s most strategic assets, earning the country at least $45m annually before its collapse. It is currently operating under 10% of its capacity and reported to be making annual losses in the region of $6m.

Currently, it has debts amounting to $25 million mainly from fixed costs such as wages, rates and taxes on land.

Meanwhile, Mungwari said NSSA was contemplating a number of possible alternative uses for its $30m Beitbridge hotel.

“We remain vigilant to the need to achieve a trade-off between occupancy and repair costs, versus possible income that could be generated,” he said.

NSSA has been leasing the hotel to RTG since its opening in January 2014, but the hotelier pulled out after it accumulated losses of over $2m in the 29 months it operated.

It was the second major hotel in the border town to shut down last year, after African Sun also closed its Beitbridge Express Hotel in January of the same year, citing prolonged losses at the 140-roomed hotel.