Dunlop Tyres Zimbabwe Set to Re-Open
Dunlop Tyres, Zimbabwe’s only tyre manufacturing firm could soon reopen following the intervention of Industry and International Trade Minister, Obert Mpofu. Dunlop shut down three weeks ago, sending 820 workers home after the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) failed to pay the firm its foreign currency allocations under an exclusive agreement. The government is now expected to pump up to US$350,000 into Dunlop towards imports for raw materials. “It is envisaged that Dunlop will have a three-day working week until foreign currency inflows normalise,” newzimbabwe.com reported.
“The government injected US$350,000 into Dunlop last week to provide temporary relief to the company while the RBZ is working on a more substantial foreign currency allocation to enable normal operations,” Mpofu told state media.
Phil Whitehead, Dunlop’s managing director said the company has not been receiving foreign currency allocations from the RBZ since 15 July 2005. The RBZ, under whose regulations all Zimbabwean exporting firms surrender 50 per cent of their export proceeds, is also responsible for allocating foreign currency to industry as well as various arms of government.
Whitehead said his firm’s plight has been worsened by an exclusive arrangement entered between Dunlop and RBZ where the tyre manufacturer undertook to surrender 100 percent of its export proceeds.