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1) Shepco group background Shepco group is a wholly indigenous Zimbabwean company comprised of, Shepco Industrial Supplies and Shepcobma Fasteners these are both based in Bulawayo and have got a branch in Harare. Shepco Industrial Supplies` special area of interest is underground ore breaking and ore movement. Our core products are underground battery & electrical locos, air & electrical loaders, scraper winches, rolling stock, mining lighting, rockdrilling & accessories and conveyor belts & accessories. We manufacture, provide technical back up, specialist training on use, maintenance and repair & refurbish both spares and complete units.

With the safety of the worker in mind we also supply various safety accessories with a strong bias in head & footwear protection ie hardhats, gumboots and safety shoes. Shepcobma -Mid 2015 an opportunity arose through liquidation of BMA fasteners and we usurped it. This resulted in the birth of Shepcobma Fasteners a combination of a reputable company and a well-known brand in the fastener world. Shepcobma specializes in the manufacturing, and distribution of bolts and nuts (all sizes) nail and roofing fasteners, rock support and also customized fastening products.

2) Challenges facing the industry

  1. a) Unavailability of a steel manufacturer in Zimbabwe – imports are expensive, have long lead times and also exposes us to foreign unfair competition.
  2. b) Lack of longterm credit facilities – on the few options available the process is cumbersome, interest rates are very high, security requirements are scary and prohibitive.
  3. c) Serious border delays – trucks take 5 – 7 days to be cleared. Process is cumbersome. d) Aging equipment – frequent and regular breakdowns.

3) Solution to the challenges above

  1. Reopening of Zisco and creating a conducive and investor friendly environment to lure steel manufacturers to Zim. Resources are available what is needed is the coming in of investors.
  2. Open lines of credit with reasonable interest rates. Make available affordable money. Easy of doing business culture to be imparted in the banking sector.

III. Simplify border process to be short and quick for imports to come in fast.

4) Recent developments to make products more competitive.

  1. Purchasing of BMA assets – fully equipped company. Capacity has been increased due to the availability of a fully-fledged machineshop.
  2. Procurement of new machinery – the pace is very slow due to limited funds.

III. Product knowledge transfer with our principals in SA. We have sent our technicians to our principals for the purposes of having an in-depth knowledge of the equipment that we are supplying and being able to attend to all the issues in the segment without waiting for them to come in and assist.

  1. Employee in house training – the emphasis is on back up of all the equipment that we supply. We have training program to equip our technicians to attend to an challenge that may arise from the market when equipment has been supplied.
  2. Conducive environment for employees to upgrade themselves. Employees are encouraged to look at opportunities to better themselves in their chosen careers which means they will perform better in their field of work.

5) Shepco projects

  1. ISO certification – preliminary work towards this achievement has begun and we are targeting Q2 2017.
  2. Expansion of the working area – construction of a state of the art big shed. Funding challenges are hampering the takeoff of the project.

III. Replacing of old machinery by new and state of the art and technically advanced equipment. Again funding challenges pop in.

  1. Replacing of the current fleet of vehicles – service vehicles have gone beyond their best before dates. They are now very expensive to keep on the road. Funding challenges.
  2. Harare workshop – has been postponed several times due to lack of funding.

6) Government intervention to restrict imports – create a conducive and easy business environment by – availing affordable funds, introduce strict and tight entry requirements for exports, support ideas from industry, put into practice and implement recommendations from industry.

7) The mining industry has great potential to sustain the economy in the mid to long-term because of availability of varsity minerals resources and the demand will always be there and the metals prices fluctuations are manageable.

Completed by: Ezekiel Masanganise General Manager Shepco Industrial Supplies.

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