Zimbabwe: Footwear Company Applauds Zimtrade, Forex Auction System

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A LOCAL business has applauded the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and the government for introducing the currency auction system, which has enabled it to improve its production and expand its operations in the region.

Triple Tee Footwear managing director Enock Chitekedza said the RBZ’s decision was a shot in the arm as their business was able to secure enough foreign currency to operate at full capacity.

“In the years 2019 and 2020, we encountered glitches when foreign currencies became scarce.

“Our suppliers had lost confidence in us because we were not paying for raw materials continuously and on time.

“But we are very grateful to the RBZ and the government for bringing in the auction system. It breathed new life into our organization because we were about to close.

“We would go for months without production, but with the introduction of the auction system, we have been able to purchase raw materials in a timely manner and confidence is building among our suppliers.”

Chitekedza says the move helped them stay competitive and stabilized their prices.

Following the introduction of the auction system, in 2021 Triple Tee increased its production capacity from 30% to 71%.

This has seen the company respond to customer calls for it to become a one stop shop for PPE products by opening a garment manufacturing plant.

Chitekedza also expressed his gratitude to Zimtrade for opening up certain avenues and putting their business on the map.

“Zimtrade has helped us improve the visibility of our products in the region and in Africa. They have taken us to Zambia several times, resulting in the establishment of an office in Lusaka and another in the Copperbelt.

“Unfortunately, due to economic hardship and the pandemic, we had to close Copperbelt operations as not much was happening in that area, but we are still operational in Lusaka.

“We have been to the DRC twice so far, the interest in our products is very high and we plan to find logistical means to get the products there.”

Chitekedza says they also participated in the IATF2021 exhibitions in Durban and South Africa which also exposed them to other stakeholders sharing market insights from the sector.

Through the exhibitions, they had the opportunity to compare their products to those on the mainland, which earned them inquiries from as far away as Nigeria.

Chitekedza, however, said they were facing severe power outages, which affected production at their factory and another company in the Sunway City industrial park.

“Our power line is connected to residential areas surrounding the Sunway City Industrial Park.

“We get disconnected time and time again. We have to rely on running diesel generators which is a very expensive option for us. We argue that if the electric utility can provide dedicated lines or a dedicated line to this park industrial which is a Special Economic Zone, it will help us to reduce our cost.

“We have chemicals that have to stay over 40 degrees all year round 24/7. In the event of a power outage, we are forced to run the generator even during the night, which expensive on fuel.” — Weekly business

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