George Maponga in Masvingo
The Zanu-PF Masvingo provincial leadership wants Government to urgently reopen the Cold Storage Company (CSC) plant here and Mashava Asbestos mine as preliminary indications show that the two firms will create over 6 000 direct jobs in the province.
At its peak, the CSC plant in the Masvingo Industrial area used to employ about 4 000 permanent and contract employees, making it the backbone of industry in the country’s oldest town.
The plant has been operating way below capacity for more than 10 years amid calls for Government to resuscitate it because of its vast potential to earn millions of dollars in foreign currency through beef exports.
Mashava Asbestos mine, which is part of Shabanie Mashava Mines, closed at the turn of the millennium, resulting in the loss of thousands of jobs and the transformation of Mashava into virtually a ghost town.
Zanu-PF Masvingo provincial chairman Cde Ezra Chadzamira yesterday said President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration has expressed a keen interest to revive the Masvingo CSC plant and Mashava Asbestos Mine.
He said the ruling party leadership in Masvingo was excited about employment prospects at the two firms that will reduce unemployment in the province.
He said President Mnangagwa has revealed plans to visit the two firms in the near future.
“We have been vigorously pushing Government to prioritise the re-opening of Mashava Asbestos Mine and the CSC plant because from our own investigations, the two companies will heavily reduce unemployment as they have potential to create more than 6 000 direct jobs,’’ said Cde Chadzamira.
“We are happy that President Mnangagwa has expressed readiness to visit the two firms to have a first-hand appreciation of the situation on the ground and we are looking forward to his visit to the two companies in the near future.’’
Cde Chadzamira said President Mnangagwa’s visit to the CSC Masvingo plant and Mashava Asbestos Mine will give impetus to Government plans to re-open the two entities.
“Mashava Asbestos Mine and the CSC Masvingo plant re-opening will breathe new life in the economy of Masvingo, not only through creation of thousands of jobs, but also through new downstream industries, whose survival will be dependent on the two firms.
“We have made it a priority as the Zanu-PF leadership in Masvingo that the re-opening of these two firms deserves urgent attention as they will mark the dawn of a new era in the province’s socio-economic configuration,’’ said Cde Chadzamira.
The Zanu-PF Masvingo provincial chair said the ruling party leadership in the province was heartened by efforts being made by central Government to quickly re-open the two companies under the 100-day work plan.
The Herald has already gathered that Government has already identified a local investor willing to inject $20 million to resuscitate the mothballed CSC plant that will end the bane of joblessness in the town. Plans to revive Shabanie Mashava Mines are also reportedly at an advanced stage, setting the stage for Masvingo to start accruing benefits from its vast economic potential.
Besides Mashava Asbestos Mine and the CSC plant, the Zanu-PF leadership is also leveraging on large-scale socio-economic transformation envisaged in the province as a result of the giant Tokwe-Mukosi Dam that was commissioned last year in Chivi District.
Employment prospects are also in the offing in the province, thanks to the $1 billion Beitbridge-Harare Highway dualisation project that will also create thousands of jobs.