Zimbabwean textile Industry is slowly dwindling

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2014-06-28 10:00:00 – Zimbabwe

Zimbabwean textile industry is slowly dwindling due to the prevailing economic crisis as well as the influx of cheap imports from the Far East. It has dropped to below 10% capacity, corresponding to the general decline in economic activity across the country. The textile industry at its peak time employed more than 20,000 people and was one of the key employers in the country. There has been an accelerated decline in the sector, which now employs only 4,000 people. Bulawayo-based companies such as Cotton Printers, Silkwood Prints, Andys Suppliers, Coats Zimbabwe and Dreyton Textiles have folded, while a number of others are under judicial management. Other firms like Pension Knitwear, International Screen Printers, Cotton Waste, Meville Knitwear, Helio Textile & Polypackaging, Miller and Thomson, Dian Holdings, Universal Bags now employ less than 100 workers Ex-listed textiles giant David Whitehead, which used to employ at least 3,000 workers, was forced to close in 2010, costing the jobs of thousands of other people in downstream industries. Apart of this Zim Textile Workers' Union said that in the last four years the group's membership has dropped from 11,523 to just 1,600. Industry players also cite as challenges high input and utilities costs and the high duty levied on raw materials which makes their products more expensive than imports. The new cotton farmers are also affected due lack of training has to compromise on the quality and yield of the cotton being produced, as the training centres just like the rest of education and economic infrastructure are becoming victims of the land seizures. Decade-long economic crisis is leading to finance shortages, company closures, disruptions in the farming sector and also disturbed the textile sector of the country.

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