KEETMANSHOOP – An industrial structure that had been gathering dust for quite sometime has now prospered into the establishment of a state-of-the-art garment factory at !Homs Ai centre in Keetmanshoop, answering to President Hage Geingob’s call for it to become operational said Tjekero Tweya, Minister of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development.
He made these remarks when he visited the centre last week as part of his visits to the region to establish the status of all industrial projects under the Namibia Industrial Development Agency (NIDA).
“My mission here today is to establish if this project is indeed operational so that government, through NIDA can render further support for it,” the minister explained.
He then urged Namibians to be grateful towards the investor who identified the need and came on board to make the establishment of the first garment factory in the south a reality.
Addressing employees at the factory, who are mainly youth, Tweya told them to be happy for having been granted the employment opportunities.
“You were taken from the streets in order to become productive citizens with dignity who can now care for yourselves,” he reminded the youthful employees.
Tweya further implored them to be serious and work hard since this project has a lot to offer and opportunity to grow further.
He, however, stressed that they still need capacity building, hence the need to import professional skilled people to train them on tailoring and design.
“These people will not come here to take over your jobs, they only need to upgrade your skills in order to become highly trained designers and manufacturers of garments.”
He added that the country has the needed manpower and capacity and if Namibians are highly committed, this factory can at the end supply the local demand as well as export garments manufactured at the factory.
“Parents must however support this project by buying quality school uniforms directly from Hektas Holdings whilst mines should order locally manufactured overalls from here in order to inject into the country’s economy,” Tweya stressed.
“We must not forget that this is only the start of this wonderful project, but through hard work, dedication and support both from government and Namibian customers it can grow into becoming a big success story even exporting garments at the end of the day,” he said.
When probed if this will not turn into another Ramatex white elephant, the minister refuted such notions by stating that Ramatex closed due to the saturated American markets they supplied.
“This project in its initial stages will only supply local demand,” he further explained. Tweya then added that whilst Ramatex only concentrated on the tailoring aspect, the Keetmanshoop garment factory entails both tailoring and design.
“It will serve no justice if I do not recognise the office of the governor, NIDA board and other stakeholders for a job well done by realising this dream for the betterment of all Namibians,” said the minister. -email@example.com