HomeLocal NewsArcher Clothing shortlisted for Dimaf

Archer Clothing shortlisted for Dimaf

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Industry and Commerce minister Welshman Ncube yesterday disclosed one of Bulawayo’s leading apparel firms, Archer Clothing, which failed to reopen last week following its annual shutdown, could benefit from the $40 million bailout set up for distressed companies in the city.

About 600 employees were locked out of the firm last week and advised to report for duty on February 29.

Ncube told NewsDay the firm had for long been facing liquidity problems.

Last year, the government launched the $40 million Distressed and Marginalised Areas Fund (Dimaf) that is expected to revive the waning fortunes of the city’s industrial base.

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

“I am aware that it (Archer) is one of the companies burdened by debt and should apply for Dimaf,” said Ncube.

“We included them on the Dimaf list and communicated with them to make an application for the funds through CABS (Central African Building Society). We are not aware, however, as of now which company has applied.”

Ncube is chairperson of the Cabinet taskforce on Dimaf.

Other members of the taskforce include Finance minister Tendai Biti, Agricultural Mechanisation and Irrigation minister Joseph Made, Labour and Social Welfare minister Paurina Mpariwa, Economic Planning and Investment Promotion minister Tapiwa Mashakada, Water Resources Management and Development minister Samuel Sipepa Nkomo and Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment minister Saviour Kasukuwere.

The committee has reportedly shortlisted 48 firms to benefit from the fund.

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