Bata invests $500 000 in gumboot plant

Bata invests $500 000 in gumboot plant
Published: 12 December 2017 (1181 Views)
GWERU-based shoe manufacturer, Bata Shoe Company, has invested over $500 000 in machinery and equipment for the setting up of a gumboot manufacturing plant.

The shoe manufacturer discontinued production of gumboots and PVC safety boots at the height of the hyperinflationary period, which had been brought about by the economic downturn.

There has been a significant demand for safety shoes in the mining and farming sectors, which have been on a recovery path recently.

Bata managing director, Mr Ehsan Zaman told Business Chronicle that they were expecting to commence gumboots production by March next year.

"We see the opportunity of having gumboots business in this country. Presently we are importing from South Africa as well as from Zambia.

"Our investment proposal for the machine and equipment to produce gumboots has been approved and we have already placed an order for the machines," he said.

"If everything goes well we will be commencing our production from March next year, which is an investment of over $500 000 including moulds and machines.

"We are proud that we will be producing it in Zimbabwe which will cut the import bill and is a support to the economy.

"The production of gumboots will be for the domestic as well as the export market.

"We hope that we will be able to produce 250 000 to 300 000 pairs of gumboots per year, which means more than $500 000 will be saved through this import substitution initiative."

The Bata boss is also optimistic of a positive economic outlook following the appointment of country's new President (Mnangagwa).

He said if the economy improves Bata will make good business and that the company will consider bringing more investment into the country.

"We are very optimistic because the vision that the new President gave in his speech is very positive.

"We are very optimistic that business will improve and so will the economy.

"There will be more investment inflows into the country.

"If things continue like this we will probably reach the highs that we are aiming to get to," he added.

Bata Shoe Company is the biggest shoe manufacturer in Zimbabwe employing over 1 100 workers and producing 3.5 million pairs of shoes per year.

At its peak the Gweru based shoemaker employed about 5 000 workers before the economy took a downturn.

Last year the company introduced new production process among them the re-introduction of the Sandak and Pata-Pata brands on the local market.

The Gweru-based shoemaker reintroduced the two brands after it discontinued production of those in 2008.

- chronicle

Tags: Bata, Factory, Gumboots,
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