Wednesday, 12 May 2021


THE defunct State-owned meat processor and marketer, the Cold Storage Company (CSC) is set to resume normal production in August after it stopped operations sometime ago to pave way for plant upgrade.

Boustead Beef, a United Kingdom investor entered into a 25-year joint venture agreement with the Government in January 2019, to facilitate the revival of the company under a US$400 million deal. The company was recently put under a corporate rescue scheme now led by a prominent Bulawayo lawyer, Mr Vonani Majoko, who was elected by creditors to allow for its recovery under protection from litigation.

Speaking during a tour of the Bulawayo factory by the Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce, Raj Modi on Monday afternoon, CSC-Boustead Beef Zimbabwe consultant, Mr Reginald Shoko, said engineers were on the ground working on upgrades and were likely to resume operations by the second quarter.

“The whole plan of the revival of CSC is now within the premises of the corporate rescue practitioner and in our plan, we would have told you that by the end of August we will be up and running but we have a process where we have to pass through,” he told the Deputy Minister.

“What we have direct control of now is to make sure that everything is working. The parts have already been ordered and paid for and the engineers are already on the ground preparing for the arrival of parts.

“By the end of the second quarter we believe things will be ready to work if creditors allow everything to go through.”

Mr Shoko said the giant CSC plant had been operating below capacity for over 20 years hence the need to properly conduct engineering assessments and repair and replace most of the components.

“The parts that are required to revive or light on CSC have already been procured and they are on their way. We are now waiting for the fitting of the parts, commissioning and testing,” he said.

“In the long run there is a solar plant that will be set up as the licensing has already been worked on and for water there are over 10 boreholes here.”

Mr Shoko said a proposal has been put forward to work closely with farmers in revitalising the whole value chain.

“We are moving away from the former setup whereby farmers would just sell their cattle to CSC, get their money and go. Now the whole idea is that even if they put their cattle into the CSC paddocks, they are paid their money upfront for whatever they are charged,” he said.

“When cattle come in for slaughter after 60 or 90 days from the paddocks, farmers also have a benefit of added value in the sense that they get a certain percentage if their cattle weigh more after the deduction of the expenses of keeping it to a certain standard.”

Mr Shoko said CSC was critical to the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1:2021-2025), a key building block towards achieving Vision of 2030.

“We need the local and majority farmers in control of the value chain and the cycle or the meat industry. CSC is the backbone of the Wet Blue Industry in Zimbabwe as well,” he said.



In his response Deputy Minister Modi said the tour helped him get a real picture regarding some of the concerns that were being raised by the media.

“Two weeks ago, I saw on the media that there were a lot of negative issues about CSC pertaining to people who are said to be stealing all the equipment and selling it as scrap and all that,” he said.

“So, that is why I thought of coming to see personally what exactly is happening. But what you see in the media and what you see here on the ground is totally different.

“I’m very happy to let the people of Bulawayo and the country as a whole know that there is nothing like that. What is happening is that there is progress in work and they promised that soon within three months’ time they will be operational. It’s good news for all Bulawayo people and Zimbabweans.”

Deputy Minister Modi said the revival of CSC was a big step for Bulawayo as it presents huge employment opportunities of up to 450 when production resumes, and a broader window for exports.

“They are going to create more and more employment with new technology. They were also talking about making gluten that is something new for us in Zimbabwe because the gluten we are currently using is being imported,” he said.

“Once we start making it here, we can sell to the locals and export some to other countries to generate foreign currency for the country.”

CSC-Boustead Beef Zimbabwe senior executive, Mr Isaiah Machingura, said the company has full orders from the market.

“We have got some compilation of orders internationally and also locally, which is quite a great interest in all that we are trying to do to make sure that this Bulawayo abattoir operates,” he said.

“And it is going to operate on a different style not the old style both on how we are going to supply our products to the export markets and as well as the bottom line of the source of raw material, which is the farmer.”

CSC expects to resume operations with 450 workers at its Bulawayo plant starting with daily slaughter of 800 cattle and increase volumes as time goes on. Herald


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