Zimbabwe’s coal firm Hwange plans to cut 1,000 jobs: deputy minister




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HARARE   – Zimbabwe’s Hwange Colliery Company is considering cutting a third of its 3,000 workforce as part of measures to revamp the loss-making coal miner, a government official said.

Hwange, in which Zimbabwe’s government is the biggest shareholder with a 37 percent stake, is the nation’s second-largest coal producer and supplies coke to state-owned electricity generating firm Zimbabwe Power Company.

Fred Moyo, the deputy minister in the mines ministry, told parliament on Wednesday that Hwange, which has been making losses for more than a decade, would cut overheads, trim its workforce and has set a meeting with creditors next month.

The firm should have 2,000 employees, the official parliament record, Hansard, quoted Moyo as saying on Wednesday.

Moyo did not say when the job cuts would be effected.

The deputy minister said the High Court had approved a scheme by Hwange that would suspend all litigation against the company from creditors who are owed $160 million.

Hwange chief executive Thomas Makore said on Thursday approval for the scheme was granted in the first week of June.

Moyo said Hwange would meet the creditors on July 14 to find an agreement on how to repay its debts.

Hwange produces 150,000 tonnes of coal a month and Moyo said the company was working to double the output by end of year.(Reuters)