Textile sector teeters on the brink

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The future of about 4,000 workers in the country's textile sector is uncertain as firms report that local and export orders for June and beyond have dried up.

The situation has been made worse by the lack of a bailout from government. The Ministry of Trade and Industry is expected to resubmit a bailout proposal of P500 million over five years to cabinet after the initial effort was rejected last year. At the time, cabinet was understood to have questioned where the funds would be sourced from during fiscal consolidation and asked for further justification of the request.

This week, the Botswana Exporters and Manufacturers Association (BEMA) said its textile members are reporting that orders for June and beyond have dried up partly because they were uncertain whether they would fulfill them given their difficulties.Other industry sources say that while most factories had orders for winter which they were still processing, supply contracts for spring and summer were lean as their lack of competitiveness had priced them out of the running.

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