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Bata invests in Zimbabwe footwear plant

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The Bata Shoe Company has invested over $500,000 in machinery and equipment to re-establish a ‘gumboot’ (wellington boot) manufacturing plant in the Zimbabwean city of Gweru. The company discontinued production of gumboots and PVC safety boots during the economic downturn which was followed by a period of hyperinflation in Zimbabwe.

Bata’s decision to once again manufacture these products in the southern African nation has followed an apparent growth in demand for safety shoes from the country’s mining and farming sectors. According to Bata managing director Ehsan Zaman, gumboot production is expected to start by March of this year.

Bata’s gumboots will reportedly be produced for both the domestic market and for export. Mr Zaman has expressed his hope that the company can produce up to 300,000 pairs of gumboots per year. Bata claims to be the largest footwear manufacturer in Zimbabwe, employing more than 1,100 workers and producing some 3.5 million pairs of shoes per year. At its peak before the economic downturn, the shoemaker employed close to 5,000 members of staff in Gweru. In 2016, the company introduced new production processes and re-introduced the Sandak and Pata-Pata brands to the local market, both of which had been discontinued a decade ago.

Publishing Data

This article was originally published on page 4 of the February 2018 issue of SATRA Bulletin.

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