Senior Business Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Textile Manufacturers’ Association (ZTMA) has embarked on a survey to assess the performance of the sector while mobilising funding to help expand the industry.
ZTMA vice chairman Freedom Dube yesterday said his organisation was conducting site tours of companies in the textile industry across the country following the end of the annual shut down.
“We’re currently engaged in site tours of our members to see who has re-opened after the annual shutdown and also establish what’s happening in terms of their operations,” said Dube.
“The survey started in Bulawayo and we’re now moving to Kadoma, Harare and Darwendale. We don’t have any textile company to talk about in Mutare following the closure of Karina Textiles in recent years. I can’t comment on what we’ve found so far until the exercise is finished in the next two weeks.”
Dube said due to operational constraints such as stiff competition from imports, liquidity challenges and obsolete plant machinery, local textile firms closed 2015 operating at around 34 percent capacity utilisation.
“This is also the reason why we’re carrying out site tours of companies. In terms of funding, textile companies need a combined $20 million working capital and capitalisation,” he said.
Among a host of measures, players in the clothing and textile sector want the government to consider extending the rebate on textiles by another year to allow recovery.
At its peak the clothing sector employed over 40,000 people compared to about 8,000 as of last year.
Zimbabwe’s textile and clothing sub-sectors consist of three components namely; production and ginning of cotton, transformation of lint into yarn and fabric, and the conversion of fabric and yarn into garments.