Treger faces bleak future

THE collapse of steel production in Zimbabwe is negatively impacting on business, with companies such as Treger Products, who use large quantities of the commodity, facing a difficult future.

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BY MTHANDAZO NYONI

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Zimbabwe’s steel production is currently in the doldrums following the collapse of Ziscosteel in 2008 due to choking financial constraints.

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Before its collapse, Zisco was the largest integrated steel works company in Africa, with a capacity to produce one million tonnes of the commodity annually.

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Efforts to revive Zisco suffered a stillbirth, with mining giant Essar Africa Holdings, which had promised to inject $650 million, pulling out due to political bickering.

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Diversified Bulawayo group, Treger Products, one of the largest consumers of steel in the country, says the future looks challenging, as they spend thousands of dollars importing the product.

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“The year 2017 might turn out to be more challenging, but we are hoping that the challenges would be overcome. The challenges are emanating from steel because the group uses a lot of steel, which is being bought outside Zimbabwe, but we are selling our products locally,” group corporate affairs executive, Tich Garabga, said.

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As of January 5, 2017 the price of steel stood at $300 per tonne.

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Treger has five manufacturing divisions — Monarch Steel, Kango Products, Treger Plastics, Zimbabwe Grain Bag and Treger Harare.

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Garabga said they remained optimistic of better days, despite these challenges.

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“Generally, as a group, we remain positive. Shareholders have no doubt whatsoever at the success of business in Zimbabwe,” he said.

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Treger Products is part of the privately-owned Treger Group of companies and has been operating in Zimbabwe since 1911.