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Bata seeks compliance
Chronicle Online

Bata seeks indigenisation compliance
THE country’s biggest shoe manufacturer, Bata Shoe Company has expanded its Associated Business Units (ABUs) from three last year to five resulting in an increased workforce of over 125.

As part of its empowerment programmes and compliance with the country’s indigenisation laws, the Gweru based shoe manufacturer has sub-contracted businesspeople to make tennis shoes using machinery it has decommissioned from its Gweru plant.

The government gave foreign-owned companies up to April 1, 2016 to submit their compliance plans in line with the country’s empowerment laws under which they must cede at least 51 percent shareholding to locals.

Bata managing director, AMH Ehsanuzzaman told Chronicle Business that the company’s legal department was seized with the matter to ensure that the company complies with the country’s laws.

He said the new ABUs also comprise a Pata Pata manufacturing plant, a sandal the company popularised in the 90s.

“We’ve set up two more ABUs to bring them to five as part of our efforts to support indigenous people in setting up small to medium industries. We now have a total of five ABUs with four into stitching our Tommy tennis shoes while the fifth one is into the manufacturing of Pata Pata, which we stopped producing in 2008.

“Through these efforts we’ve employed 125 people and we’ll continue to look at ways of supporting locals,” he said.

The shoe manufacturer last year embarked on the development of skills after setting up shoe manufacturing equipment at Mupfure Vocational Training Centre near Chegutu.

Plans are underway to extend the programme to Kaguvi Vocational Training Centre near Gweru.

The setting up of ABUs by Bata comes as the company is exploring exporting its products to Europe and Asia. The company is already exporting to Latin American markets.

Regionally, Bata exports its products to South Africa, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique and Botswana.

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