MIDLANDS Provincial Affairs minister Jason Machaya has lamented government delays in completing the Essar Africa takeover deal, adding the delays were impacting heavily on the lives of over 5 000 Ziscosteel employees.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
Addressing a meeting during a tour of Kwekwe on Wednesday by Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko, Machaya said it was a miracle that the 5 000 workers, who were employed by the now- defunct iron and steel company, were still alive.
“Vice-President, I can tell you that the situation is pathetic because the company has been closed for a long time, the 5 000 workers have not been receiving salaries, and they can’t feed their families or send their children to school. I am aware that they can’t even afford two meals a day,” Machaya said.
He said the collapse of Ziscosteel had a serious negative impact on the operations of the Redcliff local authority, saying the town had only survived through prayer.
Machaya said the poverty levels in Redcliff could soon spread to Kwekwe, after the giant chrome smelting company, Zimasco, recently laid off over 600 workers.
“Zimasco has downsized and let go workers and we don’t know if they will keep their doors open, but if they close, Kwekwe will face the Redcliff problem,” Machaya said.
Mphoko challenged the provincial leadership to tap into the mineral resources available in their area to stave off poverty.
“If we just talk of diamonds, platinum and gold we have mineral wealth of $15 trillion and we can afford to turn our people into trillionaires, so as leadership, if we don’t ask our people to explore these minerals, we will die a poor people,” Mphoko said.