The number of cattle being slaughtered at the Cold Storage Company has gone down from 50 000 per month a few years ago to current levels of just under 2 000 monthly, as government struggles to get a partner to revive the ailing parastatal.
The CSC, once the biggest beef processor in Africa, has been processing between 1 000 and 1 220 cattle at its headquarters in Bulawayo since the beginning of the year while its Marondera and Chinhoyi abattoirs have been processing between 500 and 600 beasts per month.
The rest of its abattoirs are idle.
CSC, which was also in cattle rearing business currently owns 700 cattle from an average of 10 000 fifteen years ago.
“The situation is bad,” CSC chief executive officer Ngoni Chinogaramombe said.
“We are still waiting to be guided by the government when they find the investors. We gave them our turnaround strategy which they are using to scout for the investor.”
The company is saddled by a $22 million debt which has put off suitors to take over the company.
CSC was at one time was the largest meat processor on the continent, handling up to 150 000 tonnes of beef and associated by-products a year and exporting to the European Union.
But poor management and persistent outbreaks of foot and mouth, which halted exports in 2001, have led to its demise.
Private abattoirs, some of which are hiring CSC facilities, have moved in to fill the void left by the parastatal in the domestic market.-The Source