ZISCO Clears $40m Zesa Debt Amid Hopes Power Will Be Restored In Redcliff

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By Staff Reporter

THE state-controlled iron and steel giant, Ziscosteel has settled its staggering $40 million debt to ZESA amid hopes that electricity supplies will be restored in Redcliff town where residents had gone for months without power.

Ziscosteel chief executive Farai Karonga confirmed the development to

“ZISCO has managed to pay the bulk of the ZESA bill. That is ZISCO $40 million,” Karonga said.

“The debt is historical as if dated back to the days when the company stopped production. It is a legacy debt that was accrued over a long period of time,” he said.

Though power is yet to be restored at the plant and Redcliff, Karonga said the state-owned company was working on separating its power line from Redcliff Municipality and Zimchem.

Zimchem is a Redcliff-based chemical manufacturing company.

ZISCO, Redcliff Municipality and Zimchem are currently sharing the same power line, and the switch oof of steel companies affected the other partners, including thousands of residents in the town.

“We are now concentrating on separating Redcliff Municipality and Zimchem from us. We have to undertake the move as the bulk of this bill was not Zisco’s,” he said.

Early this year, ZISCO invited new investors to help revive operations at the company that has been the target of interest from Indian and Chinese investors in the past.

Essar Africa Holdings, a unit of India’s Essar Group, agreed to invest up to $4 billion in Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (ZISCO) in 2011 but the deal collapsed.

An agreement by China’s R&F to invest $2 billion in 2017 also fell apart after Harare authorities sought to renegotiate the deal.

Meanwhile, the Redcliff local council has embarked on water disconnections to residents in order for defaulters to pay rates and for the town council to be able to settle its $80 million debt it owes the Kwekwe City Council.

Redcliff mayor Clayton Masiyatsva confirmed the development to

“We have since started water disconnections for defaulters,” he said.

Redcliff relies on water supplies from the nearby Kwekwe City Council.