Thursday, September 16, 2021
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Chipinge clothing manufacturer survives the tide

Stephen
Ephraem
CHIPINGE

A clothing manufacturer in Chipinge town has managed to remain afloat despite an
influx of second-hand clothes that find their way into the district through neighbouring
Mozambique.
Ladlink Investments trading
as S&H Uniform Centre, which is one of the leading manufacturers of sportswear
and uniforms in the region, is implementing innovative ways to survive.
The company says it has
managed to survive the harsh economic conditions that have seen many other
businesses in the sector closing by thinking outside of the box.
Ladlink Investments
managing director, Samson Mashaka told Ministry of Industry provincial
officials Cloudiuos Makwindi and Donnybrook that the business switched to
uniform-making which has no competition from second-hand clothing dealers.
“We used to manufacture
all lines of clothing and we operated a clothing shop in town but due to stiff
competition from second-hand clothing, we switched sides and began to focus
only on school uniforms,” said Mashaka.
He said he was glad
that the business was able to continue equipping itself regardless of the various
periods of economic turmoil especially during the hyper-inflation of year 2008.
“When most clothing
manufacturers were closing their operations, we took the opportunity to buy
their machines and equip our factory. It required a lot of capital but we
sacrificed the little we had to buy the machinery,” Mashaka said.
The factory started
with two humble sewing machines but it now boasts more that 20 units that
include more advanced sewing machines as well as embroidery and fabric printing
equipment.
“We employ ten
permanent workers who have fashion and fabrics qualifications. We also hire casual
labour if demand is high,” said Mashaka.
He bemoaned the high
rate of duty that the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) levies on machinery
imports.
“In order to attract
more players in the garment-manufacturing industry, I urge government to revise
duty on garment-making machinery. The 40 percent duty that is currently being
charged is prohibitive to the growth of this industry,” Mashaka said. 
                                    
Picture:  Samson Mashaka (left) leads Makwindi and Sanhanga
during a tour of his factory.
Ends////////

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