One of the most modern tanneries in southern Africa and the most modern in Zambia, Kabwe Tannery will, hopefully, resume operations.

The government has granted Hassan and Sons Company a temporary interim six-month contract to revitalise the tannery which has been dormant for two years.

Commerce and Industry Permanent Secretary David Chilipamushi said during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the company that the government was concerned about the inactivity at the tannery.

‘As government, we are concerned that not much has happened with regards to Kabwe Tannery’s operations.

‘Cabinet will be looking at options either to lease it out or have an outright sale, but as an interim measure, Hassan and Sons will run it on a contractual basis.

‘We hope the company will take on all the workers who haven’t been working and receiving salaries during the past years’, Chilipamushi said.

He said the tannery needed an investor with vast experience. He was optimistic that Hassan and Sons had the necessary expertise to boost Kabwe’s economy and hoped that the cabinet would make a quick decision on the tannery which employs 100 people at full capacity and 35 at its lowest.

Hassan and Sons managing director Abdul Kadir Hassan said the company would invest in three containers worth about US$50,000 each to boost production.

He also said his company had enough resources from the three abattoirs they run in Luanshya, Senanga and Kitwe to sustain operations at the tannery.

With experience running over 30 years in the industry, Hassan said his company had a ready market in Italy. Kabwe Tannery was only able to produce wet-blue leather, which it was exporting.

General manager Moses Banda said the tannery’s main problem was the lack of operating capital, which had been hindering the processing and improvement of leather.

Kabwe Tannery’s plant and equipment are worth about US$1.8 million, with the building complex estimated to be above K500 billion.

Source: The Times of Zambia (Ndola)