Debt saddled, Pure Drop oil producer succumbs to economic turmoil

Harare – Surface Wilmar, manufacturers of Pure drop cooking oil says they are closing operations amid a deepening economic crisis characterised by rising cost of production and foreign currency shortages.

Consequently, the company is failing to service a debt in the region of $11 million owed to its foreign raw material suppliers and also said they have been failing to access foreign currency from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe for the past five months.

“We have stopped our operations because the company has not been getting adequate foreign currency and this has led to the ballooning of our obligations with our foreign suppliers who has since indicated their intention to stop supplying the raw materials.

“Foreign currency has been a challenge hence our current position to stop operations until further notice,” Surface Wilmar chief executive Sylvester Mangani told Business Times.

Industry and experts across different sectors have warned of an impending economy collapse as the crisis is worsening day by day.

Reflective of the difficult operating environment, fridge manufacturer, Capri recently said they have suspended operations in the wake of the deteriorating economy.

With the government showing little or no signs to avert the situation, what most Zimbabweans have been left doing is predicting the outcome in a given timeline.

Speaking during a breakfast meeting on Thursday, Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI), Sifelani Jabangwe, said that if government does not act to turnaround the current economic crisis, the country will go through a major catastrophe.

“Most of our members have got a month or less of raw materials, but have no access to then buy more raw materials because there is no (forex) allocation from the RBZ [Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe] … So we have a situation where the country is grinding to a halt. We do not have more than 10 days to make decisions,” he said.

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