The Zimbabwe clothing sector is already on its knees further delay from the government in announcing a new policy instrument to clothing manufacturers to import duty free clothes and textile material can put the feasibility of the sector in jeopardy.
The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development should not delay to issue the clothing manufacturers rebate, said Joseph Tanyanyiwa, secretary-general of the National Union of the Clothing Industry.
As recently that most players in the clothing industry were contemplating sending their workers on forced leave while others have reportedly failed to resume operations following their annual shutdown last December as their materials were being held at the bonded warehouse.
As the National Union of Clothing Industry they want the window for clothing and textile employers to continue to import on duty free to avoid risk of the industry shutting down again.
At Diesel Gear since they opened on January 5, workers are just seated and the employer is saying if they donâ€™t access the material soon they are sending employees on forced leave.
Most of the companies from the clothing and textile industry have failed to clear their clothing and textiles imports since December 2014. Currently the clothing sector was operating at below 30% from a peak of between 40 and 45% in 2010 and 201, said Tanyanyiwa.
Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa in his 2015 budget statement had proposed to extend the clothing manufacturers rebate facility by another 12 months as the rebate had attracted investment and generated additional employment in the clothing industry. Last year government in partnership with the private sector launched the cotton-to-clothing strategy as part of efforts to revive the sector
Materials eligible for the rebate include cotton sewing thread containing 85% or more by weight of cotton, cotton sewing thread, denim, plain weave weighing more than 100g per square metre, sewing thread of man-made staple fibres, not put up for retail sale, woven fabrics of polyester staple fibres, chenille fabrics, tulles and other net fabrics.
The companies that used to benefit from the facility were Playtime Manufacturers, CohCoh Enterprises, Paramount Exports, Rolling Stone, Bravette Manufacturing, Carousel, Enbee Stores, Escapedes, Archer Clothing, James North Zimbabwe, Faith Wear and J.J. Benatar.
The textile and clothing industry due to a number of problems afflicting the industry the employment figure has plunged to about 8 000 now from 35,000 when at its peak.
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