Home » Industry » David Whitehead Needs $1m to Double Capacity

TEXTILE company David Whitehead requires about $1 million in working capital to enable it to double capacity at its Chegutu integrated fabric plant. “Since we re-opened late last year, our main challenge remains that of capital. We need about $1 million to procure critical spares for our machines, dyes and chemicals,” judicial manager Mr Knowledge Hofisi of Aurifin Capital said.

He said this while appraising Industry and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha who toured the Chegutu plant recently.

“That will certainly help us to raise our capacity to 450 000 metres per month from the current 180 000 metres.” Some of the products which DW is manufacturing include school wear print, dyed top tex, carlico, work ware drill and camouflage.

Mr Hofisi said he was working on a pathfinder document to access funding under the Distressed Marginalised Areas Fund while looking at disposing some non-core assets.

He said the company was using 40 looms the machines used in weaving the cloth, but this can be raised to 96 if all other machines were repaired. However while the firm’s fabric was gradually entering the market, the company was facing resistance from local buyers who continue preferring imports despite the company offering competitive prices.

“It’s quite difficult to penetrate the local market because we have not been around for sometime, but we are putting in place all necessary measures to regain our market share,” Mr Hofisi.

He expressed confidence that with improved capacity, the company had potential to “saturate” the market.

Mr Hofisi said the company had received tremendous support from suppliers who are providing credit supplies in light of capital shortage to finance procurement of raw materials. One of the most critical raw materials in fabric manufacturing is yarn.

Minister Bimha said the Government was willing to see the company getting back to its former glory.

“The basic infrastructure is there and there is need to move from where you are,” said Minister Bimha. “We want this infrastructure to get utilised.”

Minister Bimha pledged his supporting on helping DW to access funding under the DiMAF facility.

He added that the Government had received proposals from foreign investors willing to venture into the textile industry and would appraise directors of the company on what the country already had in view of establishing partnerships.

David Whitehead was placed under provisional judicial management in December 2010 before confirmation of the final order in March last year. Mr Hofisi was appointed final judicial manager, taking over from provisional judicial manager Mr Winsely Militala.

The company used to produce at least 20 million metres of fabric per year while directly employing 3 000 workers and thousands in down and upstream industries.

David Whitehead has three plants in Chegutu, Kadoma and Gweru. However the other two remain closed as the company works in integrating processes involved of factories.

Source : The Herald