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Zent’s manufacturing division had its maiden quality system certification in 2001 and has not looked back through embracing the continuous improvement philosophy, a key tenet of the Quality Management System.

Speaking during the handover ceremony of the ISO certificates and flag, an insignia of excellence, Sebastian Zuze, Quality Assurance Director of the Standards Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ) said, “The products and services are manufacture, maintenance and testing of electrical panels, cubicles, transformers, switchgear, concrete products, fabricated structural steel products and machines. This should give confidence to their diverse customer base, which includes its sister companies, industrial, mining, agricultural and business organisations outside Zesa.”

Zuze said that he was pleased that Zent’s manufacturing division had chosen to be re-certified by Saz with more than 50 years’s experience in the certification business and whose ISO 9001 and 14001 certification schemes are accredited by the South African National Accreditation Forum’s Mutual Recognition Agreement.

The manufacturing division’s certificate is internationally recognised and in the year 2010, Zent’s projects division was also ISO certified, implying the profile of Zent’s business conduct keeps shining.

“Certification such as the one we are recognising today is testimony of Zesa’s commitment to delivering value to the customer and provides a means of demonstrating the organisation’s desire to meet customer needs. It is crucial to note that Zent’s diverse customers point directly to Zimbabwe’s productive capacity and therefore it is in order that we congratulate them for acting responsibly by implementing a Quality Management System (QMS). Well done, to Zesa management and staff, we are proud of you!” said Zuze.

Saz said that the reasons for investing in quality point to the customers’ stringent demands for value for their money. The demand for quality world-over is now part of everyday life.      
Quality is not just about implementing a system or working towards a set standard, it is about senior management embracing best practice and instilling it within the organisation’s culture.

It requires visionary leadership, commitment, a motivated labour force and paying particular attention to detail. It is about goal congruency and teamwork and that is what Zent has managed to achieve.

Saz also emphasised that organisations should adopt other management system standards like environmental management systems, occupational health and safety management systems and complaints handling, all of which are relevant to businesses who care about their environment, employees and customers.

Speaking during the ISO function, Tererai Mutasa, the managing director of Zent took the delegates on the memory lane of the achievements and challenges that his company had managed to conquer to stardom.

“Our manufacturing division currently has the capability to manufacture and test to local, regional and international standards distribution and power transformers from 5kVa up to 20 MVA  33 Kv class. By 2015, the division will be manufacturing and testing transformers up to 75MVA, 132 kV class, a giant leap underpinned by the ISO 9001:2008 quality management system,” said Mutasa.

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He said that the division has the capacity to manufacture 300 transmission line concrete poles of up to 33kV class per month.

 

“A little over a year ago, in November 2010, I recall us welcoming most of you to the certification ceremony of our Projects Division and advising that some of our business units were still on the road towards ISO certification or re-certification,  so ,we view today’s function as another milestone on that quality certification journey.

 

Engineer Simbarashe Mangwengwende, deputy board chairman of Zesa Holdings, said that since the Zent manufacturing division has been ISO 9001:2008 re-certified, expectations were there for the company to scale great heights, especially in view of the need to electrify the whole country, saying, “You have just reached the summit of a small hill and more challenges are in the offing.”

 

Engineer Mangwengwende said that the ISO re-certification achievement was a fulfillment of the strategic objectives of the power utility that 90 to 95% of the distribution equipment must be manufactured locally to achieve the goal of electrifying the whole country.

 

He encouraged Zent to strive towards being the centre of technological excellence in Africa, especially in view of the fact that in Sub-Saharan Africa, electrification is less than 20%. He acknowledged that Zent Manufacturing had taken a small step in the right direction.

Engineer Andrew Nyambayo, the chairman of the Zent board appreciated the successful journey of the ZENT Manufacturing Division of being re-certified and challenged and challenged the remaining divisions, which include Transport to pick a leaf from their fellow divisions and get a seal of approval of the prescribed Quality Management Systems by ISO.

 

Who is Zent

ZESA Enterprises is a non-regulated business under the Zesa stable and it is a flexible investment arm for Zesa Holdings. Shareholder expectations are that the company’s growth strategy should be to consolidate the traditional business provided by the sister companies and to diversify into new markets in the electricity, industrial and mining sectors of the economy locally and regionally.

 

Zent should thus be at the centre of creating and supporting the local electricity industry and importing new and appropriate technology in that respect.

 

In 2011, Zent signed a switchgear technology transfer agreement with Techpro (Pvt.) Ltd. of South Korea for the manufacture and repair of switchgear.

 

Once fully operational, this agreement will go a long way in ensuring the availability of critical components in the delivery of reliable, constant and affordable power to Zesa customers.

Zent’s rise in transformer manufacture

The phenomenal rise of Zent’s transformer manufacture was kick-started by the signing of the technology transfer agreement with PME Power Solutions of India in December 2006. Zesa Enterprises’ manufacturing division was ranked third in the transformer repair and manufacturing industry then.

 

The technology transfer agreement ushered in a new era in the history of Zent as it marked the beginning of the transformation from being a peripheral player in the industry to become the leading and preferred local transformer manufacturer today.

 

The division increased its transformer output from 20 repaired units per month in 2006 to over 500 manufactured transformers per month today.

 

Export market

The current monthly production output of distribution transformers, at 500, is now more than what the domestic market needs, and Zent will need to be more aggressive in the export market going forward if current production levels are to be sustained.

 

Market inroads made into Lesotho, Malawi and Zambia need to be expanded and protected.

 

Last year alone, Zent manufactured 4 048 new distribution transformers. A total of 17 new power transformers were manufactured for the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution’s (ZETDC) grid reinforcement and expansion projects.

 

This effectively removed the transformer challenge, which had been affecting the country as a result of vandalism of electricity infrastructure wherein customers were experiencing a waiting period of up to two years to get replacement transformers.

Zent believes that the transformers delivered to Zetdc greatly improved the availability of electricity to the Zesa customers and ushered a new era for some customers. Noteworthy is the construction and commissioning of the Epworth substation and the Glen Norah Substation by Zent in December 2011 and January 2012 respectively where the company installed 4×20 MVA power transformers manufactured by the division.

The ISO re-certification ceremony was graced by officials from the Ministry of Energy and Power Development, Zesa Holdings board, Zent board, officials from PME of India, DRC, workers from Zent and sister companies of Zesa Holdings, customers and other guests.

The Zent clarion call is to prevent accidents and injuries through promotion of safe working habits, proper housekeeping and continuously improving safe working processes. The move that will amount to zero tolerance to work-related accidents.

 

Zent launches safety awareness

Zesa Enterprises, a subsidiary of Zesa Holdings in collaboration with the Harare municipality have launched a Health and Safety Awareness Campaign to prepare the mindset of Zesa staff to take appropriate measures to prevent work-related accidents and other eventualities that injure, maim and in some instances claim human lives.

 

Addressing the staff on health and measures, Tererai Mutasa, the managing director of Zesa Enterprises said, “Health and safety awareness and observance is the centre on which productivity and employee well being hinge. Accidents injure, maim and in some instances kill employees.

 

“Accidents also damage machines, leading to production losses, costly repairs and lost business opportunities. The psychological scars of losing a breadwinner are quite ghastly to contemplate and as such, even our families must support us in our endeavors to create safe working environments.”

Mutasa said that human body parts are largely irreplaceable and as such, prevention is better than cure.

He said the Zent clarion call is to prevent accidents and injuries through promotion of safe working habits, proper housekeeping and continuously improving safe working processes, in a move that will amount to zero tolerance to work-related accidents.

 

The managing director encouraged Zent employees to preach and practice safety at all times as safety is a process and not an event.

 

His encouragement was against a backdrop of two work-related accidents last year that fortunately did not have casualties.

 

“Where provided, safety and protective clothing must be worn at all prescribed times. The fire drill starts today with the fire marshals getting the first bite of the cherry and the rest will follow suit in due course,” said Mutasa.

The theme of the health and safety awareness campaign was premised on the fact that safety is everybody’s business and that safety should not be learnt through accidents.

 

Mutasa said that health and safety talks must be on the production meetings’ agenda of every department and must be given the same prominence as costs, profits, production targets and quality.

 

He said that the Zesa Holdings’ board had already made a start by ensuring that there is a committee – the board audit and risk committee – which looks into this important aspect of the operations and reports on it to as required.

 

Following the launch of the health and safety campaign, two assembly points have been designated for employees to assemble when there is an emergency like fire, floods, storms and other related eventualities*

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