Redcliff is set to get a new lease of life after a cement manufacturing company sets up a $10 million plant in the town.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
The town had been forgotten after its prized possession, Ziscosteel closed more than five years ago and attempts to revive the giant plant yielded nothing.
Redcliff mayor Freddy Kapuya told Standardbusiness last week that his council had a special meeting on Monday where it finalised a deal with Mortal Investments which is owned by Chinese and local investors.
The Chinese investors have 25% shareholding with the remainder owned by a local consortium.
“We sold them nearly 100 000 square metres of industrial land which they are expected to turn into a giant cement manufacturing plant next year and employ nearly 400 workers,” Kapuya said.
Council said it had by end of Tuesday received a payment of $600 000 for the land deal and was now expecting work to start soon.
Kapuya said the investment had already been approved by the Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA) and his council, reeling from financial difficulties owing to the collapse of Ziscosteel, had offered Mortal Investments a three-year rates rebate.
“We are so excited that the ZIA approved investment will take shape here at a time hope for the re-opening of Ziscosteel is fading. Redcliff will now be looking elsewhere,” he said.
Cement companies are attracted to Redcliff because it brings them closer to slag, which can be found in mountains at Ziscosteel. Slag is one of the major raw materials needed in the manufacturing of cement.
However, Kapuya believes that Ziscosteel could have run its course and his town will now have to rely on other investment opportunities such as the cement project.
Redcliff has vast tracts of land which continues to lie idle as land developers don’t see themselves realising value if Ziscosteel is not resuscitated.