Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Bulelani Magwanishe and KwaZulu-Natal Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Sihle Zikalala will, on January 22, launch a multimillion-rand textile firm Africa Bespoke Apparel (ABA), in KwaZulu-Natal.
ABA is a 100%-black owned company operating in the textile, clothing and footwear sector. The company is the first among black industrialist beneficiaries to create about 450 employment opportunities within four months of its operation.
ABA was approved for grant funding of R35.5-million from the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI’s) Black Industrialists Scheme (BIS) and the project was cofunded by the KwaZulu-Natal government’s growth fund.
The BIS aims to unlock the potential within black industrialists operating in the South African economy through deliberate, targeted and well-defined financial and nonfinancial interventions.
“The BIS supported ABA in acquiring new equipment to simplify and improve the production process, with increased flexibility and safety, which is combined with the realisation of guaranteed high quality to meet the demands of the modern textiles and clothing sector,” commented Magwanishe in a release from the DTI.
He added that the modern technology installed through the BIS would enable ABA to triple its production.
“This manufacturing capability has made ABA competitive in relation to modern standards of manufacturing in the clothing and textiles sector.”
Zikalala said the KwaZulu-Natal government is proud of ABA’s achievements, adding that it augurs well for the provincial government’s initiatives to revive the textile industry, which has not been performing well in the past 20 years.