Government Gives CSC An Ultimatum
by Takunda Mandura
Government has given Cold Storage Commission (CSC) an ultimatum to finalize its deals with two foreign investors.
In a statement, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Honorable Patrick Chinamasa said this decision was arrived at on March 10.
“Cold Storage Commission to finalise consideration of joint venture proposals by the Swiss and United Kingdom investors by 30th April 2018,” he said.
CSC was one of the biggest Zimbabwean exporter in the European Market before the time of its collapse during the early 2000s when they was a persistent outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease which caused bedlam not only in Zimbabwe but at large Southern Africa
At one point the national cattle herd was estimated to be around 6million before the outbreak. Currently the national herd is estimated to be at around 5,8million.
In the late 1990s the CSC was reported to exporting 9 100 tonnes a quota to the European Union before the outbreak of foot-and-mouth, and tapped into a US$15 million revolving facility where payments were made in advance. The collapse of CSC has had far- reaching implications on Zimbabwe’s beef output and export earnings.
CSC brought revenue an annual revenue US$45 million per annum at its peak. The beef exports accounted for four percent of the country’s export earnings in the late 1990s.
Statistics indicated that beef output declined to 90 000 tonnes in 2008 from 95 000 tonnes in 2007 before rising to 93 000 tonnes in 2009.
In 2017, the National Social Security Authority’s (NSSA) $18 million made deal to recapitalize CSC which was has been indebted in a $25 million debts such as wages, rates and taxes on land.