TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Swaziland: 15 000 employed in textile industry

Tuesday, 05 July 2011

Source: Swazi Observer (Swaziland)

The textile industry has provided employment opportunities to about 15 000 people in the country.

This is contained in a report by the ministry of labour and social security portfolio committee on unfair labour practices in the textile industry, which states that these people were mainly from the rural areas.

The report was tabled before parliament on June 30. Members of parliament were questioning the reported ill-treatment that existed in local textile factories, which are mainly concentrated at the Matsapha Industrial Site and have recently been decentralised to other parts of the country.

Most of the people that have benefitted from the factories include mainly people from Nhlangano after a number of factories including the biggest employer; Zheng Yong Factory and FTM Garments were set up there. Other factories include Juris Manufacturers, Texray, Tuntex and Knitwear.

 

Investors

Swaziland Investment Promotion Authority (SIPA) Chief Executive Officer Phiwayinkhosi Ginindza said investors came in different categories. He said the textile factories mainly employed people from the rural areas, who were relatively unskilled.

“They take some of the people who are without skill and train them,” he said.

SIPA had a target to create at least 5 000 jobs in 2010 and the institution managed to achieve 90% of the target. However, while jobs were created, a number of them were also lost. Among factories that closed down is Ample Clothing at Matsanjeni. Apparently, the factory could not meet the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) standards.

SIPA explained that although they closely monitored all investments, sometimes company closures were unavoidable. The report states that SIPA was working on resuscitating the closed factory at Matsanjeni.

“The Authority first embarked on a mission to assist the current investor to re-open the factory which was unsuccessful. SIPA is now working on getting an investor to re-open the factory,” states the report.

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