Government last week announced several austerity measures meant to resuscitate the economy which include new levies and taxes on imported groceries, fertilizer and a ban on the importation of second-hand clothes. Following Government's directive to ban all second-hand clothes on the local market, Zimbabwe Clothing and textile manufacturers are eying 100 percent capacity utilization by 2020.
Speaking on the sidelines of a tour of the company by the Office of the President and Cabinet, Zimbabwe Clothing Manufacturers' Association chairman Mr Jeremy Youmans said that clothing manufacturers welcome Government's directive to ban second-hand clothing as this will provide a boon to their operations.
They welcome the stance taken by Government because the ban is going to create more opportunities for them as an industry. They have now set a 100 percent capacity utilisation benchmark in the next five years.
Presently, the entire industry is operating at 45 percent capacity and obviously some companies face difficulties but they are always optimistic of reaching that milestone. They are calling for flexible labour laws as well for them to achieve their goal, said Mr Youmans.
Recapitalisation in the clothing and textile industry is not a big issue because most of their machinery is not expensive to re- place.
According to Mr Youmans, the whole clothing industry requires about $5 million to replace old machinery and addressing working capital constraints. ZCMA represents more than 100 registered companies in the formal sector.
With clothing and textile companies exporting about 60 percent of their production, the clothing and textile industry is targeting a 400 percent growth in employment figures to about 40 000 people by 2020
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