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Government moves in to save Zimglass
01/03/2014 00:00:00
by The Source
 
Zimglass rescue ... Industry minister Mike Bimha
 
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ZIMBABWE Glass Industries (Zimglass), the country’s sole flint glass manufacturer, could resume production next month after government agreed to directly fund its operations in the short-term, a company official said on Thursday.

The company suspended operations four months ago due to lack of funds to procure raw materials.

Zimglass requires $3,34 million in short-term capital. It also owes its employees salaries dating back to August last year.

“We are still looking for cash and there are promises which we are waiting on. We are optimistic that production will resume soon,” acting chief executive officer Gilbert Tapfuma said.

But another official said the Ministry of Industry and Commerce had indicated it would provide funding in the short-term after the firm submitted a revival strategy.

“They (officials) liked our proposal and indicated that the ministry would provide the necessary funds which should enable us to resume production by mid-March,” said the official who requested anonymity.

The financial situation at the glass maker has strained relations between management and workers who have repeatedly clashed over unpaid salaries.

In December last year, management at the company were held hostage by workers, twice in one week as the angry employees demanded their dues.

Zimglass, a subsidiary of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), needs $15 million to rebuild its blast furnace and for working capital.



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