Land shortage derails Nortex expansion plans

Nortex has close to 500 employees
Nortex has close to 500 employees

FRANCISTOWN: Land shortage is frustrating Nortex’s expansion plans, according to the company’s managing director (MD).

The MD, Mukesh Josh said in an interview that Nortex is interested in expanding operations, but shortage of land has upset the plan.

It emerged at a recent tour of the company, organised by the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC), that Nortex is interested in expanding its operations.

However, BITC officials said they were in talks with Botswana Fibre Networks (BoFiNeT) to avail Nortex their scrap yard plot for expansion.

BoFiNeT owns a plot, which is next to Nortex.

“Talks are still at their infancy, but we are hopeful that BoFiNeT will avail the plot to Nortex,” BITC Business Executive, Reginald Selelo said during the tour.

Should the expansion plan come to pass, it is expected to create new 500 jobs in addition to nearly 490 employees that the company currently has.

“At the moment, we buy 150 tonnes of cotton yarn from Lesotho per month so we want to make our own yarn to weave and finish towels.  This will create more jobs,” Josh said in response to BusinessWeek enquiries.

However, Josh did not reveal how much money will be used to fund the expansion.

“I will wait for the plot.  I hope BoFiNeT will sell me their next-door neighbour scrap yard to expand.  We are more than ready to expand,” Josh added.

He said the company has purchased new weaving machines in order to double production.  “As I speak, I am in Europe arranging for the machines that have cost around P42 million to be shipped to Botswana,” he said in a text response.

Currently, Nortex produces an average of six tonnes of towel on a daily basis. Nearly 90 percent of the company’s produce is sold to South African retail stores.

The company also sells part of its produce to countries such as Namibia and Zimbabwe.  Nortex was established in 1990. According to media reports, the company currently makes nearly P100 million annually.

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