Reviving industry in Bulawayo has emerged as a government and local authority priority. In order to support the initiative to resuscitate industry in Zimbabwe’s second city, Meikles Limited has entered into an empowerment agreement with the former employees of Bulawayo-based Cotton Printers Limited. This agreement will see the 350-strong group of former workers resuscitate the operations of the spinning division of the business whose liquidation was managed by Grant Thornton Camelsa.
At the conclusion of the Cotton Printers liquidation in May 2011, various plant and equipment, whose estimated value is USD800,000.00, were left unsold. This equipment has been sold to this empowerment consortium at a heavily discounted price of USD50,000.00. Enquiries point to the fact that once spares are sourced for this equipment it will be ready for commencement of production during the first quarter of 2012.
The Belmont factory, the property of Meikles Limited, will be leased by what will be known as the Belmont Workers Trust at concessionary rates, designed to provide the group with a better survival opportunity, in the first 6 months of operation.
Cotton Printers was made up of two businesses, spinning and weaving. The spinning section produces thread. Discussions have already been held with Cotton Printers’ traditional markets in South Africa and Botswana, to re-establish business ties, while at the same time new markets are being identified; prospects are also fairly bright for limited local business.
A board of Directors, appointed y the Ministry of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment and chaired by Mr. Mark Wood will guide, support and advise the Belmont Workers Trust in their quest to secure funding and revive operations at the spinning plant.
“The Belmont Workers’ Trust is unencumbered by legacy issues which weighed down its precursor. A scaled down operation with a narrower focus has a good chance of making headway providing employment to an experienced workforce and applying impetus to Bulawayo’s industrial recovery,” commented Mr. Wood.
For and on behalf of Meikles Limited