Miners equipment maker pleads for govt support

BY MTHANDAZO NYONI

SHEPCO Industrial Supplies, a division of Shepco Group, has pleaded with government to support it in terms of raw materials so that it can boost the small-scale miners’ production, an official has said.

Shepco Group chief executive Shepherd Chawira told NewsDay that given enough support, the company could help the small-scale miners ramp up production.

“Shepco Industrial Supplies needs support in terms of raw materials and mainly steel, because we manufacture the small locomotives which they use in the gold mines,” he said.

“We manufacture small equipment; even for the small-scale miners. We are doing their hoists, their headgear, these structures which they use to go underground. We manufacture those and we use steel and they are importing steel. If we can get support, we can boost the small-scale miners’ production. We are a key supplier,” Chawira said.

He also pleaded with government to expedite the resuscitation of Ziscosteel so they could get their raw materials in the country.

Ziscosteel, once the largest employer in the country, collapsed due to government bungling, looting, corruption and mismanagement.

In its heyday, Ziscosteel used to employ 5 000 workers, and 50 000 others benefited in downstream industries.

However, its demise has seen companies like the National Railways of Zimbabwe, Hwange Colliery Company Limited and Shepco Industrial Supplies, among others, scaling down operations.

Several efforts to revive the company have failed.

Shepco Group operates two divisions, Shepco Industrial Supplies and Shepco BMA Fasteners, a bolt manufacturing section that was bought on liquidation in December 2015 from Steelnet.

Shepco Industrial Supplies manufactures mining equipment such as locomotives and underground loaders, among others.

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