STATE-OWNED meat processor Cold Storage Company (CSC) has been making a loss of $6 million every year over the past 10 years, an official said on Wednesday.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
Briefing World Bank Group Africa Group 1 Constituency and African Development Bank (AfDB) officials during a four-company tour in Bulawayo, CSC finance director Pascal Marufu said the company desperately needed capital.
The officials toured Archer Clothing Manufacturers, CSC, National Railways of Zimbabwe and Dunlop to assess the economic situation in the city.
“We are not making any profit at all. We are running to save idle machinery from rust,” Marufu said.
“The company has been perennially posting a $6 million loss over the past 10years.”
He said the number of cattle being slaughtered at CSC had gone down from 50 000 per month a few years ago to just under 8 000.
The government has been struggling to get a partner to revive the ailing parastatal.
Marufu said abattoirs in Marondera, Masvingo and Chinhoyi had been processing between 450 and 500 beasts per month.
The rest of CSC abattoirs are idle.
The company is saddled with a $22 million debt which has put suitors trying to take over the company, off.
CSC was at one time the largest meat processor in Africa, handling up to 150 000 tonnes of beef and associated bi-products a year and exporting to the European Union, but mismanagement and persistent outbreaks of foot and mouth disease halted exports in 2001, affecting viability.
CSC is one of the State enterprises earmarked for privatisation and owes workers $2,1 million in arrears.
The bleeding parastatal recorded a $3 million loss in the first half of 2013 and would require $58 million to recapitalise.
Last year it was directed by the government to look to private-public partnerships for funding.
Private abattoirs, some of which are hiring CSC facilities, have moved in to fill the void in the domestic market.