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Essar Starts Paying School Fees for Stranded Redcliff Children

  • Gibbs Dube

Essar Africa Holdings has started paying school fees for children, whose parents at New Zimbabwe Steel Limited, have not received full salaries for more than four years.

This follows a conflict between the Indian company and the government over ore reserves.

Essar, which has a majority stake in the now defunct state-owned Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company, is expected to pay fees for more than 3,000 children this term.

Workers have only been getting an eighth of their salaries once in months. Some of them told Studio 7 although this is a big relief as large numbers of children were no longer going to school, they are still struggling to make ends meet.

One of the employees, Takura Chikwiri, said some workers received $50 allowances on Wednesday at a time when Essar is taking over workers’ bank loan arrears as well.
Japhet Moyo of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) said his organization will wait and see how this new deal will be implemented.

The government queried the initial deal it struck with Essar four years ago, saying billions of ore reserves had been unnecessarily parceled out to the Indian firm, prejudicing the state of billions of dollars.