Rand Ropes and Haggie, Son and Love embarked on a scheme of acquisition and diversification of operations in the 1970s.
Around this time, the Anglo America Industrial Corporation (AMIC) acquired a 35% shareholding. In Zimbabwe, it was decided to establish a wire drawing and rope factory in Kwekwe, which was centrally situated and close to the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (ZISCO) at Redcliff. Haggie now imports the bulk of its steel rod from South Africa, as ZISCO is currently unable to produce the raw material required.
Starting from the ground up in 1971, a site for the factory was allocated by the local municipal authority. It was cleared of thick bush and a ropery building was erected. Casual workers were hired for the clearing and then to unpack and assist with the
installation of two wire drawing machines, two stranders and a closer.
Once the machinery was in, 20 semi-skilled workers were employed and three sent to Johannesburg to be trained in the art of wire drawing and rope-making. Among them was Ben Masunga, who still works for HRZ and is now a supervisor in the wire mill and, thanks to his long experience, adviser to the works manager.
The first rope turned out in 1971 was a three strand, 4 mm signal cable for Rhodesia Railways (now the National Railways of Zimbabwe) which at that time served Zimbabwe and Botswana. The factory went on to begin production of high tensile wire, mattress wire, PSC and roping wire. Since then, it has expanded its repertoire to include rope of up to 2 300 MPa and up to 32 mm diameter. The range of wire strand and fencing products has also been extended to include strand of various gauges, diamond and hexagonal mesh and barbed wire. Haggie wire is also used in a diverse range of products including:
- welding rods
- woven mesh
- brick and concrete reinforcing
- agricultural ties and binders.
1973 – Present
In 1973, African Wire Ropes opened a second sales branch in Bulawayo, which was then railhead for most imports reaching the country via South Africa.
The branch acted as a sales depot for products of the Kwekwe factory and agent for imported ropes from Haggie Rand South Africa. It is now head office of Haggie Rand Zimbabwe and for two of its newer divisions: Technical Services and the Lifting Cargo and Consumables division.