Source: Govt pledges to pay Zisco workers | The Herald July 1, 2019
Michael Magoronga Midlands Correspondent
Government is deeply concerned with the plight of former Ziscosteel employees who have reportedly gone for close to six months without receiving their backpay and is working flat out to rectify the situation, Industry and Commerce Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu has said.
Government in 2017 took over payment of the former workers and pensioners under the Ziscosteel Debt Assumption Bill which seeks to clean the company’s balance sheet in a bid to lure new investors.
Part of the Bill stipulates that Government takes over payment of former workers and bars companies from suing the now defunct steel giant over non-payment of debts.
Government has been struggling to meet the requirement which has led to former workers not receiving their monthly dues, as well as pensions and retrenchment packages since December last year.
Ziscosteel Workers’ Committee chair Mr Benedict Moyo said the former workers were yet to receive their monthly dues this year.
“We have gone for six months now without any backpay,” he said.
“The situation is just bad and we have no explanation as to what exactly is going on. The money has been cushioning us, especially those who have not been receiving their pensions and retrenchment packages, but now families are struggling to earn a living since the little that we have been basing on is not coming.”
Minister Ndlovu said Government was working hard to make sure the former workers start receiving their dues by end of July.
“Yes, it is true that the workers have not been receiving their dues, but we are working on a plan to try and assist the workers,” he said.
“It is difficult to consistently pay workers for an organisation that is literally closed. So, that is the challenge we find ourselves in, but we are making arrangements to unlock certain funding for the workers to get paid.
“They used to be paid by RBZ, but we are in the process of removing RBZ from the picture.
“We are working flat out, it might start working around July and they will start receiving their dues by end of that month.”