Alarming ban

Published: Saturday 31 December 2005

Dark days ahead for the Asbest The South African government's intention to ban all production, import and export of asbestos has sounded alarm bells across the asbestos industry in Zimbabwe.

The Zimbabwe National Chrysotile Taskforce (znctf) has expressed concern over the prohibition fearing it might have serious repercussions. It could cause significant job losses in Zimbabwe and South Africa as well as drastic reductions in foreign currency inflow to local companies involved in the asbestos industry. An estimated 10,000 Zimbabweans are employed in chrysotile mines and downstream industries whereas around 200 people are employed in South Africa's asbestos industry. Chrysotile contributes more than us $60 million annually to Zimbabwe through exports. The znctf is working closely with the South African government to make them reconsider the blanket ban.

The new regulation gives parties 60 days to make their submission and following the ban, suppliers will get 120 days to dispose off their stocks.

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