Michael Magoronga Midlands Correspondent
MORE than 1 000 former Ziscosteel workers are set to benefit when coking company ZimCoke Private Limited begins its recruitment exercise.
The company, which took over a coking oven from defunct steel giant, Ziscosteel, is expected to commence the recruitment exercise this month ahead of resumption of production early next year.
Industry and Commerce Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu said more than 1 000 former Ziscosteel workers are set to benefit directly and indirectly when ZimCoke recruits.
“We are always concerned with the plight of (former) Ziscosteel workers, which is why we pushed through the ZimCoke deal which is set to recruit some former workers. I am well informed that ZimCoke has already hired some former Ziscosteel security personnel and that will cascade to other units and that will benefit the former workers a lot,” he said.
ZimCoke advisor, Mr Eddie Cross said before production commences, the company is expected to engage about 300 employees who will assist with the refurbishment of the coke ovens before the number balloons when production commences.
“When we start work on the plant we expect contractors to take up to 300 employees. Once production starts employment on site, we will take more employees,” he said.
The first huge steps towards the reopening of steel giant Ziscosteel were made following the commissioning of the $255 million ZimCoke last month.
The company took over a coke oven within Ziscosteel in a $133 million deal viewed as the first steps of the revitalisation of the steel giant.
ZimCoke and Zisco signed an agreement of sale in 2017 where ZimCoke bought the coke-making assets from Zisco.
They acquired the plant and machinery, land and buildings, and associated infrastructure of coal handling and wagons.
The ZimCoke investment is expected to create nearly 1 000 jobs in the system with many more in all associated industries and service providers.
The company is also expected to play a major role in the restoration of normal water supply to Redcliff Municipality through the construction of a water treatment plant.
A total investment of $400 million is earmarked with projects like the Redcliff water supply system, rehabilitation of the Redcliff-Hwange railway line, expansion of a coal mine at Hwange among other investments lined up.