ZIMSEC O Level Geography Notes: Iron and Steel Industry:Problems faced by ZISCO
- Old machinery – ZISCO has 4 blast furnaces of which only Blast Furnace No. 3 has been operating at near capacity.
- The others due to age have been shut down.
- The government undertook a refurbishment exercise code named “Operation Zambuko” to have spun over 5 years and costing about Z$10 billion but to date only Blast Furnace No. 4 has been modified and commissioned at a total cost of 2.5 billion.
- Another problem has been that of old rail wagons which now cannot sustain an efficient merry-go-round system of transport.
- Shortage of money – the old machinery and production processes require a lot of money to modernize them.
- This money is not available.
- Government, realizing the strategic nature of the steel works has been constantly funding it in an effort to keep the company afloat.
- Poor management – related to the problem above has been the problem of corruption, fraud and mismanagement of the funds disbursed to ZISCO.
- Markets – local markets are too small to absorb products of ZISCO or are too poor to do so.
- Competition – on the other hand, Zimbabwe’s iron and steel are not competitive on the international market as they are either too costly to buyers or are poorer quality as they have too much carbon and Sulphur content.
- Also scrap metal is replacing pure iron and steel on international markets.
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