The clothing sector lost at least 500 jobs in 2014, as it continues to reel under low capitalisation levels and the influx of cheap fabrics from outside the country, an industry official said today.
“Last year alone at least 500 workers lost their jobs and the situation is not looking good,” National Employment Council for the Clothing sector secretary general Justice Mashinti said.
“Most of the workers affected were in Harare and Bulawayo.”
The sector tanked between 2000 and 2009 as the economy collapsed and Zimbabweans turned to cheap imports to mitigate falling incomes.
An additional 4 500 companies closed between 2011 and October last year, putting 65 000 people out of work, official data shows.
At one time the sector was a major employer with more than 30 000 workers on its books.
“We are down to slightly more than 5 000 workers who are employed in about 100 remaining companies,” said Mashinti.
Bulawayo, in particular used to be a major textile centre with many companies but most of them have either scaled down or closed.
Some of the companies that have closed include True Value, Label Fashion, Suntosha Leisure Wear, Luncaster, Harren Manufacturing, Ascot, Belmor Fashions, Cinderella and Rusglen Fashions.-The Source