Rhodesian Iron and Steel Commission

Rhodesian Iron and Steel Commission


On 24 July 1942, the Southern Rhodesian Government founded the Rhodesian Iron and Steel Commission (Riscom). It was sited at the steel plant at Redcliff, to develop the huge iron and limestone deposits nearby.

It suffered from a lack of experienced personnel and low level of production which meant high unit costs. In 1954, a debt of 1.7 million pounds sterling had to been written off as irrecoverable. In 1956, the loss-making situation was turned into a profit-making situation due to the formation of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland and the denationalisation of the industry. In 1956, iron ore output from the company was 127,954 tons. By 1957, this had doubled to 257,166 tons and changed its name to the Rhodesian Iron and Steel Company (Risco).

In 1965, the company employed up to 2,900 people. In 1980, after Independence, it was renamed the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company.