AFRICA, Simbabwe. The Cabinet has approved a joint venture between the Cold Storage Company (CSC) and a United Kingdom firm, Boustead Beef (Pvt) Limited, which will see the investor injecting $130 mill. into the meat processing firm.
This was said by Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa during a post- Cabinet Press briefing yesterday.
The funds will be for capital expenditures and working capital for the business. It will also pay off CSC’s financial debts totalling $ 42 530 597 and pay rentals of $100 000 per annum during the first five years of the concession agreement.
Boustead will also take over and manage CSC ranches in Maphaneni, Dubane, Umguza, Chivumbuni, Mushandike, Willsgrove and Darwendale for an initial period of 25 years. Minister Mutsvangwa said Boustead will take over and run CSC abattoirs in Bulawayo, Chinhoyi, Masvingo, Marondera and Kadoma for an initial period of 25 years. It will also take over and manage CSC’s distribution centres and residential properties in Harare, Gweru and Mutare for the same period.
Minister Mutsvangwa said the benefits to accrue to Zimbabwe from the investment agreement include, “increased capacity utilisation at CSC ranches and abattoir plants; increased prospects for restoration of the enterprise’s viability and higher throughput; stemming of further deterioration of equipment which is currently lying idle, and the growth of the local livestock and beef industry.”
In the first year, Boustead is expected to invest $45 mill., with $10 mill. set to be channelled towards the purchase of cattle to replenish the stock. Boustead will invest $6 mill. into abattoirs’ refurbishment, canning factory, distribution infrastructure, working capital and IT systems while $500 000 plant equipment has been ordered and paid for. The equipment is ready for shipping and would be installed upon arrival. The investor has started paying employee salaries from February this year and is also cleaning its facilities.
Boustead has also started buying cattle from South Africa and is also looking at restocking through facilities in Botswana, while some tenants who were occupying CSC ranches without permission have been relocated. Illegal hunting in CSC ranches is also being stopped.