Dimaf boosts General Beltings

BULAWAYO-BASED concern General Beltings Holdings (GBH) says it has improved production volumes by more than twentyfold after receiving a $1 million loan facility from the Distressed Industries and Marginalised Areas Fund (Dimaf) early this year.

Own Correspondent

GBH managing director Wilbroad Tsuroh told Southern Eye Business that the company had improved production volumes from a low 1,7 tonnes per month in January to 30 tonnes per month as of June, although he indicated that this was far below breakeven production.

“We can only break even after reaching above 50 tonnes per month and at the moment we are still far from that,” Tsuroh said.

He could not, however, give exact timelines as to when the company will trade profitably citing financial constraints to recapitalised operations. GBH which manufactures textile and reinforced rubber, has been trading on the red since dollarisation and the first half of last year recorded a loss of $616 000.

The company had applied for a $2 million loan facility from Dimaf, but was given only half of the amount which it wholly used for the purchase of raw materials.

Tsuroh said the company was looking at alternative measures to raise more working capital and will use its land and buildings to source an additional $4 million.

This follows shareholder approval late last year to lease some of the company’s properties to raise working capital.
Tsuroh said the company, although battling with a staff turnover of over 300 workers, was not in a position to retrench and as such will rely on natural attrition to minimise numbers.

GBH’s rubber division is expected to benefit from the resurgence of the mining sector as demand for conveyor belts is anticipated to improve with the reopening of old mines and the establishment of new ones.

However, Tsuroh said mining companies were delaying payments and this was slowing down the ramping up of operations.
“There are mining companies which owe us for over 150 days and this not good for a company which is just at resurgence stage,” Tsuroh added.
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