HomeNewsMeikles supports Byo industry revival

Meikles supports Byo industry revival

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As the pace to revive the country’s former industrial hub gathers momentum, Meikles Limited group says it will assist in the revival of companies in Bulawayo.

Cotton Printers was the country’s major producer of bed sheets with over 300 employees, until it ceased operations and put its assets on sale.

Textile firms have hit hard times, with some falling under the care of judicial managers and others being closed down over the years.

Government’s failure to come up with an import quota in the textile industry has not helped the local industry and cheap imports from China have flooded the market.

Launching the company’s employee share ownership scheme, Meikles chairperson John Moxon said: “Again, at the initiative of Minister (Saviour) Kasukuwere, Meikles is to support the resuscitation of industry in Bulawayo.

“To this end, Meikles has reached an agreement with the former employees of Cotton Printers in Bulawayo to revive the operations of this business.”

The company last week gave workers 20% of the company as it moves towards complying with the empowerment legislations which stipulates that locals should have control of all foreign-owned companies operating in the country.

Finance minister Tendai Biti last month launched the $40 million Distressed and Marginalised Areas Fund (Dimaf) that is expected to revive the waning fortunes of the industry.

Eighty-seven companies have reportedly closed shop and over 20 000 workers lost jobs in Bulawayo last year, a development that has put government under pressure to save the country’s second-biggest city.

“The decision to establish the $40 million under Dimaf was informed by the need to improve liquidity in the market and enable more companies to access funds to retool and capacitate their operations,” said Biti.

Meikles last week launched a youth revolving fund in the form of an out-grower scheme worth $200 000 catering for Harare’s peri-urban areas.

“Meikles, in this youth empowerment facility, is going to be providing a direct market for the youths’ produce.

In this endeavour, I expect to see a strong procurement relationship developing between the youths and Meikles Limited going forward,” said Indigenisation and Empowerment minister Kasukuwere.

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