Reckitt closes Zim factory | The Herald

via Reckitt closes Zim factory | The Herald January 7, 2014 by Martin Kadzere and Tinashe Makichi

RECKITT Benckiser, the manufacturer of Nugget shoe polish, Dettol and Cobra floor polish has closed down its Harare plant amid fears that many local manufacturers may fail to re-open after the 2013 annual shut down due to economic challenges. An official at the companytold Herald Business yesterday that the company would now distribute its products through DPack, one of its merchandising partners.

The local firm is a subsidiary Reckitt Benkiser plc, a London Stock Exchange-listed company.
The local unit started scaling down its operations since last year August and finally stopped operations towards the end of the year. It employed about 50 permanent workers.

“Reckitt Benckiser started scaling down operations on August 31 last year and since then the management has been doing finishing touches to conclude the closure of the Zimbabwean unit,” said a senior manager who requested anonymity.

“One of our merchandising partners DPack on Sunday vacated the complex taking all their belongings to go back to their base in Msasa. Now that Reckitt has closed down, DPack would be the distributing agent of Reckitt’s products, since all the products would now be supplied from its parent company in South Africa.”

The manager said about 50 employees including senior managers would receive packages and the issue was now under the jurisdiction of the National Retrenchment Board.

“We are hoping most workers would have received their packages by the end of this month,” the source said.
No official comment could be obtained from the company by the time of going to print yesterday.

Zimbabwe is facing its worst de-industrialisation since independence, as most companies have closed shop while others have significantly scaled down due to economic challenges.

Many companies across the country have closed down, with Bulawayo and Manicaland being the hardest hit.
Investment into the country has not reached the levels necessary to sustain economic growth. This deterioration in the economy has seen capacity utilization in the manufacturing sector coming down from 44,9 percent in 2012 to 39,6 percent last year.

The country has remained unattractive to international financing, largely due to negative perception and an external debt estimated at about US$6,1 billion. This has resulted in the unavailability of sustainable long-term funding to revive companies, with the available short-term loans being too expensive to sustain the recovery of the manufacturing sector.

The situation has been worsened by Western countries’, angered by the country’s programmes to bring the majority into mainstream economic activities, spirited campaigns against setting up of new businesses or expanding existing operations in the country.

This has resulted in the country’s manufacturing base shrinking to the extent of reducing the country into largely “a nation of traders”. According to Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa, the trade deficit would widen this year, with exports expected to reach US$5 billion from US$4,4 billion last year against imports of US$8,3 billion.

The net effect of this has been a debilitating liquidity crunch which has worsened the operating environment for companies operating in Zimbabwe. The liquidity crunch, which started towards the end of 2011 has gradually worsened in 2013 resulting in several companies collapsing and many more struggling to meet their costs especially staff costs.

Company closures have hit all sectors of the economy. According to the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries many companies have closed down in Zimbabwe in the last three years with a marked increase in closures recorded last year.

The July 2013 National Social Security Authority Harare Regional Employer Closures and Registrations Report for the period July 2011 to July 2013 shows 711 companies in Harare closed down, rendering close to 8 500 individuals jobless.
Industry players have since raised a warning sign that some companies may fail to re-open after the 2013 shutdown.

“We are yet to receive confirmations, but the indications that we got towards end of last year from some of our members was that they may fail to re-open,” said an official with the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries.
“Some were intending to abandon production, preferring to outsource finished products.”

CZI president Mr Charles Msipa told this paper recently that about 50 percent of its members were no longer producing, preferring to import finished products for resale locally.


  • comment-avatar
    Mupurisa 9 years ago

    This zimsituation website is definitely becoming a sidekick of the Herald. If we wanted to know so much of what is said in the Herald, we would go onto their website and we would buy their stupid papers!!! Ndezvavo izvi! This is ZANU PF’s ’employment creation policy’ in full swing!! 2014 tichaona nhamo nenzara chete!!

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    tsuro magena 9 years ago

    Is this coming from the Herald,,,its a fake. But anyway people get ready the worst is still to come.

  • comment-avatar

    The Herald and its propaganda……the only reason for such closures is that investors want to put their money where it is safe to do business and will generate a decent return, ZPF and its corruption has killed just about every goose in the country.Not many left.

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    Rukweza 9 years ago

    Lase se harare ayavalwa ama company,like it for the pirates

  • comment-avatar
    munzwa 9 years ago

    dig deeper Zimsit….

  • comment-avatar

    Only the total decimation of zanupf will save jobs industry etc

  • comment-avatar

    And so what do we expect! And yes, I stopped buying the herald about 13 years ago so why so much from there?

  • comment-avatar
    Jrr56 9 years ago

    Hey the articles from the Herald give me my early comedy boost for the rest of the day. The absurd ideas and comments that come from these guys gives me a real chuckle and that over 51% of the population believe this rubbish makes me laugh even harder. No wonder the country is in the sewer.

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    In my opinion it is a good thing These articles appear in this forum. Scince a lot of us don’t buy this paper we need to be reminded of the nonsense that this paper writes so as we can challenge it. Stopping putting these articles would be the same as not putting into this forum the views of some of the people that “contribute” to this forum who obviuosly support the mayhem that is happening in Zimbabwe. The Zimbabe situation would then be guilty of the same sin that these sightless people are. It would be then regarded as a mouthpiece of the opposition. Let us hear thier views and challenge them. E.G. who turned us into a nation of traders? We all kwow the answer to that. Sometimes to get rid of a snake you have to study it’s habbits.

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    Tafadzwa 9 years ago

    It is the government that take the lead in creating conditions conducive to investment. Right now , the country is on autopilot, with the president not taking responsibility. What else can we expect with Nikuv-elected semi-illiterate MPS like Chinotimba . In the last year Zambia attracted $1 Billion in FDI, Mozambique attracted $5Billion, yet Zimbabwe attracted a paltry $400 Million.

    So what is required? People should demand action and not promises from politicians.

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      @ Tafadzwa be rest asured this will end. When it will happen we do not know, but the signs are there. They get clearer by the day.They can only delay the inevitable but the wheels are already in spin.

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    Stewart 9 years ago

    and perhaps they did not wish to give comrade bob 51% of their company

  • comment-avatar
    Fallenz 9 years ago

    It’s not for the government to make the business… the government jus needs to get out of the way.

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    Sekuru Mapenga 9 years ago

    The closure of Reckitt Bennister and the de-industrialization of Zimbabwe are extremely important news stories.
    The addition of one paragraph of anti-western rhetoric is the parastatal requirement to pander to Mugabe’s warped vision of the world. The Herald puts it in because it has to, not because anyone believes it.