Source: Bata gumboot plant creates 290 new jobs | The Herald February 13, 2019
Courtney Matende Midlands Reporter
GWERU-based footwear manufacturer, Bata Shoe Company, has created about 290 new jobs after the commissioning a gumboot manufacturing plant.
The shoe manufacturer discontinued production of gumboots and PVC safety boots at the height of the hyper-inflationary period.
There has been a significant demand for safety shoes in the mining and farming sectors, which have been on a recovery path recently, prompting the company to invest over $500 000 in machinery and equipment for the plant.
Giving an overview of the company and its performance to Minister of State for Midlands Provincial Affairs Larry Mavima last week, the company’s chief executive Mr Ehsan Zaman said they had created new jobs by investing in a gumboot plant and increasing the number of stores.
“We have created 290 jobs and we have done some investment in the past three years,” he said.
“We have increased the number of stores from 45 to 93. We have connected the generator so that when there is no power there is no loss of production.
“We have also replaced various shoe making machines in the factory.”
Mr Zaman said the new equipment and machinery at the gumboot plant had significantly improved efficiency.
“The gumboot plant has been commissioned and we are the only ones producing this product in the country,” he said.
“It is running one shift at the moment, but it has the possibility to run three shifts, meaning we can support the requirements and probably reduce the imports.
“We have replaced many old equipment and machinery, even compressors that are 30 years old. Our shoe machinery is improving our efficiency.”
Mr Zaman said they had also started producing products such as the popular Pata Pata to promote employment, as well as restrict imports.
“We last produced Pata Pata in 2008 due to high inflation and we were importing from Malawi because there are some manufacturers in Malawi,” he said.
“I’m proud to say we have produced almost 1,6 million of Pata Pata and we don’t import anymore. This is giving us employment.”