The Sunday News
Fairness Moyana in Hwange
HWANGE Colliery Company Limited (HCCL) is now able to pay its workers on time as the company continues to strive to wake up from its slumber that once threatened its viability, an official has said.
In a speech read on his behalf by the company secretary, Mrs Mutsa Mollie Jean Remba during the 47th anniversary of the Kamandama Mine Disaster on Thursday last week, HCCL administrator, Mr Bhekithemba Moyo said operations at the company were slowly improving.
“As an administration team, we strive to keep the memory of the deceased miners alive by ensuring that Hwange Colliery Company remains a going concern. We are implementing a new business plan and model and addressing the debts the company had in the past owed to its various creditors. The operations of Hwange Colliery are slowly improving and as a testament to this, salaries are now coming to our employees on time every month. With our administration plan, we are confident that the company will not go into liquidation,” said Mr Moyo.
He said the company’s focus was to increase production and sales of coal while also cushioning its employees against the prevailing macro-economic challenges in the country.
“Our focus now as a company is to produce and sell more coal and its related products to also cushion our workforce from the prevailing macro-economic challenges. The turnaround of Hwange Colliery is imminent. All hands are on deck to ensure we are poised to continue on the path to positive company performance,” he said.
Last year, the Government placed the coal mining firm under administration to allow it to recover and potentially return to profitability. The poor performance was attributed to mismanagement with accusations that corrupt managers were milking and running down the company.
The company has been reeling under a legacy debt of more than $350 million and is operating on old inefficient equipment which has resulted in high production costs. The company entered into a scheme of arrangement with its creditors who included its employees who are owed more than $70 million in salary arrears dating back to five years.
Acting managing director, Dr Charles Zinyemba saluted workers for their loyalty in the face of trying times that the company was enduring.
Meanwhile, Minister of State for Matabeleland North Affairs, Cde Richard Moyo who was officiating at the commemorations called on mining companies operating in Hwange district to play an active role in developing communities through corporate social investments. The district has about 12 companies exploiting coal, which include Sandledge, Makomo Resources, South Mining, Zambezi Gas, Hwange Coal Gasification and Zimbabwe Zinghxon Coking Company among others.
Cde Moyo paid tribute to the 427 miners who were killed following methane gas explosion which rocked Kamandama Mine on the morning of 6 June 1972.