ZIF calls for ban of scrap metal ex­ports

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Than­deka Matebesi Busi­ness Re­porter

THE Zim­babwe In­sti­tute of Foundry­men (ZIF) is call­ing on the Govern­ment to ban scrap metal ex­ports so as to re­vive the coun­try’s foundry in­dus­try and en­hance its con­tri­bu­tion to var­i­ous sec­tors of the econ­omy.

ZIF vice-pres­i­dent Mr Itai Zaba said the lo­cal ben­e­fi­ci­a­tion of scrap metal would im­prove pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity at most foundry com­pa­nies with the ef­fects be­ing felt at var­i­ous sec­tors of the econ­omy.

“The Min­istry of In­dus­try and Com­merce should take mea­sures to ad­dress the ex­port of scrap metal, we are the only coun­try in the re­gion that ex­ports our scrap metal which is not good. Com­pa­nies should not ex­port scrap metal, we need to keep it here and add value to it so that it ben­e­fits us as a coun­try.

“As play­ers in the foundry in­dus­try, we buy the scrap metal and use it as raw ma­te­rial for man­u­fac­tur­ing equip­ment for min­ing, farm­ing and con­struc­tion in­dus­tries and if peo­ple con­tinue to ex­port it, we might run out of raw ma­te­rial and those de­pen­dent on us will be forced to im­port equip­ment,” said Mr Zaba.

It is es­ti­mated that Zim­babwe could save more than $10 mil­lion per month and hun­dreds of jobs if it stops ex­port­ing scrap metal and ben­e­fi­ci­ate it lo­cally.

The main foundry end prod­uct are mill balls, which are used in gold min­ing, es­pe­cially in small scale op­er­a­tions and the sec­tor uses sev­eral tonnes of mill balls per month.

The in­dus­try also man­u­fac­tures iron bars for lo­cal and ex­port mar­kets mainly used in the con­struc­tion in­dus­try, chain links for con­veyor belts, agri­cul­ture prod­ucts like plough wheels, bear­ings for the sugar in­dus­try and sev­eral other steel prod­ucts.

Zim­babwe has a scrap metal ban in place, but from time to time, com­pa­nies ap­ply for waivers to ex­port, a fa­cil­ity that, how­ever, in some cases is be­ing abused.

“Ex­port of scrap metal has been go­ing on for a long time but since around the first quar­ter of this year re­ports of com­pa­nies in­volved has in­creased. Hence it’s our ap­peal that com­pa­nies should not be al­lowed to con­tinue ex­port­ing scrap metal as this neg­a­tively af­fects other sec­tors that de­pend on the man­u­fac­turer for equip­ments,” said Mr Zaba.

The foundry in­dus­try en­tails the con­ver­sion of scrap metal into vi­able en­gi­neer­ing prod­ucts, but the lo­cal in­dus­try is run­ning on about 10 000 tonnes of scrap metal per month against its monthly re­quire­ments of 27 000 tonnes.

ZIF says com­pa­nies in the sec­tor are op­er­at­ing at an aver­age of 32 per­cent ca­pac­ity util­i­sa­tion, but if the ban of scrap is en­forced, the in­dus­try will im­me­di­ately jump to 80 per­cent ca­pac­ity util­i­sa­tion.

Rail­way wagon win­ter fi­filled scrap metal

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