Kafue Steel Reduces Production, Puts 200 Workers On Forced Leave.
KAFUE Steel has reduced its monthly production to 3,000 tonnes from 12,500 and has sent 200 workers on leave owing to the waning economy coupled with power shortages.
Kafue Steel, a subsidiary of Universal Mining and Chemicals Industries Limited owned by Trade Kings has had its integrated iron and steel plant going through difficult times. According to trade kings director Dr Bright Chunga, the company’s challenges have been worsened by cheap imports from China and South Africa.
Speaking on Wednesday when President Edgar Lungu’s special assistant for project implementation and monitoring Lucky Mulusa visited the plant, Dr Chunga said the government should help the company navigate its current problems to save local jobs and foreign exchange, which the country needed at the moment.
“If you buy steel from China, most of the payments you are making are in transport [costs] because the price of steel is the same here, it is the same in South Africa, it is the same in China, it is transport.[It’s] The trains, the ships, that will depend on how much you pay,”Dr Chunga said.
“Buying our local steel saves the economy because we will be paying in kwacha, these are some of the problems we are undergoing. We have cut down our input from about 12,500 metric tonnes a month to about 3,000 because of our energy challenges.”
He said the slashed output was hurting the companies’ revenue.