BULAWAYO textile giant Archer Clothing Manufacturers has pushed up production to 70% of capacity after committing $3,5 million towards working capital and refurbishment of property and equipment, an official has said.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
Paramount group financial director Jeremy Youmans told NewsDay that they were pleased with the progress they made during 2015 after they created 850 jobs.
“Our current capacity is 70% (and) we are still intending to open up a further production area, but this will be dependent on order levels being achieved,” Youmans said.
“The investment so far is about $3,5 million. We are pleased with the progress we made during 2015. The creation of 850 jobs at Archer has been significant and we have made good progress in productivity enhancement, quality assurance and systems development.”
Paramount took over Archer Clothing last year after bickering between creditors delayed, by over a year, the acquisition of the clothing manufacturer.
Looking into 2016, Youmans said there are many threats to the business. He said the significant devaluation of the South African Rand and the Zambian Kwacha has made it extremely difficult to compete in those countries.
The rand plunged to 16,8323 to the dollar while kwacha was 11, 2200 yesterday.
“SA is our biggest export market and Zambia our third largest export market. The local market is declining in size and we continue to have too many clothing goods imported without paying the correct duties, so it is difficult to compete against these,” he said.
“There needs to be a greater move towards local procurement from government, private sector business and consumers so that we can create more value addition within Zimbabwe rather than paying other countries for their value addition.”
Youmans said for them to achieve their targets, they needed an improvement in the economic climate in Zimbabwe and the region.
Archer Clothing, which was placed under judicial management in 2010, slipped out of the mire last year when the High court approved its purchase by Paramount Garments after a protracted standoff among creditors divided on its future direction.
Paramount has set aside $5 million to recapitalise the company over five years.