Zimbabwe blanket firms face extinction

Zimbabwe blanket firms face extinction
Published: 18 October 2018 (98 Views)
ZIMBABWE'S sole blanket manufacturer, Waverley, is facing an uncertain future due to illegal Chinese imports, the government has said.

Waverly, which stands at the heart of the ruins of scores of once powerful producers including National Blankets, is operating at 35 percent of its design capacity.

The ministry of Finance said the country's textile industry is being throttled by a flood of cheap imports that are being aided by porous borders.

"Again, as a result of the above viability challenges, Bulawayo's most iconic blanket maker, National Blankets, has collapsed. The subsector's capacity utilisation remains subdued largely due to illegal imports of cheap blankets, mainly from China, as well as challenges in foreign currency to secure raw materials," Treasury said in bulletin.

"Since the adoption of the multicurrency system, the subsector has witnessed very minimal exports as it cannot compete on the international market due to high cost of production, among other challenges."

Norman Makono, the Zimbabwe Textile Workers Union (ZTWU) secretary general, concurred with the report's findings and added that blanket manufacturers are navigating through a difficult terrain.

"We used to have Travan Blankets in Chitungwiza, National Blankets in Bulawayo and Waverley Blankets. Of the big firms, only Waverley is operating. National Blankets is under judicial management. But there is nothing happening there, National Blankets has collapsed. There are also small manufacturers like Rhino Blankets, Duena and Good Night Blankets that have been trying to produce blankets. But some of them have been affected by Zimbabwe Revenue Authority after failing to pay taxes," he said.

Makono said many of the small firms were operated by Chinese investors.

Meanwhile, the Treasury bulletin further indicated that capacity utilisation in the textile and ginning industry had improved to about 40 percent in June this year, from 25 percent at the same time in 2017.

Employment levels increased to 3 097 as at April 2018, from 2 700 recorded during the same period in 2017.

It said the increase was underpinned by the resuscitation of some companies as well as improvements that came out of the State-run command agricultural programme, which led to increased demand in grain bags.

The importation of textiles, which started taking its toll on the once vibrant industry in the early 1990s when cheap fabric from Mozambique flooded the local market, has accelerated since the liberalisation of the country's economy in February 2009.

Most industry players are now on the brink of collapse after failing to withstand the heat from cheap imports.

The industry has also been affected by high duties.

The most damaging duties are those imposed by Southern Africa Development Community countries on textile exports manufactured from raw materials imported outside the bloc.

Decades-old clothing and textile firms have already collapsed as a result of an influx of low quality cheap imports and lack of funding in Zimbabwe.



- dailynews

 0

You May Like These Videos

Comments

There are no comments.

Latest stories

Knox Mutizwa wins August Goal of the Month award

by kickoff | 05 November 2018 | 960 Views

BREAKING: Gandawa on the run

by Staff reporter | 05 November 2018 | 1837 Views

Econet cannot distribute Kwese TV content to Zimbabwean viewers

by Staff reporter | 05 November 2018 | 1394 Views

Shoot-out robbers arrested

by Staff reporter | 05 November 2018 | 1429 Views

Mnangagwa ally warns economic saboteurs

by Staff reporter | 05 November 2018 | 1376 Views

Chamisa mobilises supporters for mass protests

by Staff reporter | 05 November 2018 | 1160 Views

LISTEN: Acie Lumumba speaks on how he got paid

by Staff Reporter | 05 November 2018 | 964 Views

Dzamara speak on Zanu-PF fights

by Mandla Ndlovu | 05 November 2018 | 927 Views

Minister Raj Modi Modi donates salary

by Mandla Ndlovu | 05 November 2018 | 789 Views

'I am a Trillionaire' Magaya says

by Mandla Ndlovu | 05 November 2018 | 1268 Views

Supermarkets to be blacklisted over cooking oil

by Mandla Ndlovu | 05 November 2018 | 777 Views

UK army to recruit from Commonwealth

by BBC | 05 November 2018 | 852 Views

Magaya opens up on arrest

by Mandla Ndlovu | 05 November 2018 | 853 Views

Kambarami is still 'Deputy Mayor'

by Mandla Ndlovu | 05 November 2018 | 701 Views

'Import ban must not go beyond December 21'

by Staff reporter | 05 November 2018 | 785 Views

Prophet Magaya puts fresh spin to arrest

by Staff reporter | 05 November 2018 | 808 Views

Chamisa's sign language interpreters get thumps up

by Staff reporter | 05 November 2018 | 798 Views

Mnangagwa to review Mthuli Ncube's 2% tax again

by Staff reporter | 05 November 2018 | 763 Views

Lumumba to be probed by ZAAC?

by Staff reporter | 05 November 2018 | 562 Views

Dzamara speak on ZANU PF fights

by Mandla Ndlovu | 05 November 2018 | 528 Views

Zimbabwe as a new gateway into Africa

by Minister of Finance Prof Mthuli Ncube | 05 November 2018 | 777 Views

Chiwenga's ex-wife looted millions

by Mandla Ndlovu | 05 November 2018 | 1162 Views

We are our own worst enemies

by Mapozho Saruchera | 05 November 2018 | 823 Views

Mnangagwa to deal with unexplained wealth and bank deposits

by Staff reporter | 05 November 2018 | 761 Views

WATCH: Chiwenga talks about Prophet Walter Magaya's lipstick

by Staff reporter | 05 November 2018 | 751 Views

Lumumba Saga takes new twist....War vets bay for Mutsvangwa's blood

by Mandla Ndlovu | 05 November 2018 | 819 Views

Chamisa demands Presidency

by Mandla Ndlovu | 05 November 2018 | 711 Views

Zimbabwean teachers miss out on New Zealand opportunity

by Staff Writer | 05 November 2018 | 656 Views

Zimbabwe to introduce e-provisional driver's exams

by Staff reporter | 05 November 2018 | 697 Views

Zimbabwe to supply water to South Africa

by Staff reporter | 05 November 2018 | 699 Views

Mnangagwa claims that 'good times will soon roll'

by Staff reporter | 05 November 2018 | 662 Views

Zimbabwe as a new gateway into Africa

by Hon. Prof Mthuli Ncube | 05 November 2018 | 771 Views

Chiyangwa appoint Karikoga Kaseke

by Staff reporter | 05 November 2018 | 664 Views

ZCTU demo: Ruling today

by Staff reporter | 05 November 2018 | 617 Views

Missing cop found dead

by Staff reporter | 05 November 2018 | 752 Views

Tagwirei marries long-time girlfriend

by Staff reporter | 05 November 2018 | 1173 Views

Zimbabwe relaxes maternity leave entitlement

by Staff reporter | 05 November 2018 | 718 Views

Zimbabwe to receive drugs, ambulances from India

by Staff reporter | 05 November 2018 | 638 Views