President Emmerson Mnangagwa Wednesday commissioned David Whitehead Textiles, the country’s yesteryear biggest fabric producer, David Whitehead Textiles in Chegutu, The Herald reported.
ETG Parrogate Group subsidiary, Agri Value Chain (AVC), is set to inject US$20 million into the textile company for its turnaround strategy.
The president was represented by Industry and Commerce Minister, Dr Sekai Nzenza, who commended the company for spearheading investment and employment creation towards attaining Vision 2030.
David Whitehead Textiles was a major source of employment for most people in the town and its closure over a decade ago affected most families in the town.
In his address, President Mnangagwa said:
Let me commend your genuine efforts towards resuscitating David Whitehead Textiles (DWT). You underscored the fact once you fully revive David Whitehead Textiles, it will be churning 10 million metres of fabric annually. It will also be the sole manufacturer of fabric used in the production of military fatigues and school uniforms in Zimbabwe.
He said the government was ready to render its support to the company to bring David Whitehead Textiles to its former glory.
He also launched AVC’s multi-million-dollar plant that comprises a cotton ginning factory and a state-of-the-art oil extraction plant with the capacity and capability to crush cotton, soybean, sunflower and canola seeds.
Parrogate group chairman, Mr Pradeep Ganediwal said new machinery is expected to be installed by year-end with commercial production earmarked for May next year while an 8.3-megawatt solar plant to power David Whitehead Textile is also under pipeline.
Ganediwal told NewsDay that 95% of the fabric requirements in the country were being imported.
This David Whitehead project will be for import substitution and value-addition to revive the entire textile industry value chain. The major focus is to be a supplier of raw materials to the local clothing companies and create jobs.
Most countries are not producing textiles and so we have a market.
The first phase of the turnaround plan is expected to see a US$20 million investment with the expected output being 10 million metres of fabric per year.
Since the removal of the company from judicial management, the focus has been on turning the plant into a profitable operation.