he Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Bulelani Magwanishe and the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Sihle Zikalala will launch a multi-million-rand Black Industrialist textile firm, Africa Bespoke Apparel Photo: Department of Trade and Industry (dti)

DURBAN – The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Bulelani Magwanishe and the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Sihle Zikalala will launch a multimillion-rand Black Industrialist textile firm, Africa Bespoke Apparel (ABA).

The factory will officially be launched on Tuesday, January 22 in Verulam, KwaZulu-Natal.

ABA is a 100 percent black-owned company operating in the textile, clothing and footwear sector. The company is the first one amongst the Black Industrialists 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 (the dti’s) Black Industrial Scheme (BIS) and the project is co-funded by KwaZulu-Natal government’s Growth Fund.

The BIS is an incentive of the Black Industrialists Programme that aims to unlock the potential within black industrialists operating in South African economy through deliberate, targeted and well-defined financial and non-financial interventions.

“The BIS supported Africa Bespoke Apparel to acquire the new equipment which aimed at simplifying and improving 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,” said Deputy Minister Magwanishe.

Magwanishe adds that the modern technology installed through the BIS will enable the company to triple its production. He says this manufacturing capability has made ABA to be competitive in relation to modern standards of manufacturing in clothing and textiles is sector.

“Through the BIS support the company aims to aims to penetrate a wide range of sub-Saharan African markets future,” adds Magwanishe

MEC Zikalala says the KwaZulu-Natal government is proud of ABA’s achievements, adding that it augurs well for the provincial government’s programme to revive the textile industry which has not been performing well in the past 20 years.

“Our Black Industrialists Programme is producing handsome dividends. We have funded Africa Bespoke Apparel as the provincial government because we strongly believe that the textile sector can be used as one of the avenues of achieving our radical economic transformation agenda,” he says.

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