National Blankets holds AGM


BULAWAYO-BASED textile firm National Blankets, presently under judicial management, comes under renewed scrutiny when it holds an annual general meeting (AGM) on June 17.


Nqobile Bhebhe
Chief Reporter

The company has been under judicial management since 2012. At its peak it used to export to South Africa, Botswana and Namibia, among other countries in the region.

According to the agenda, the issue of shares by withdrawal of existing shares and reallocation to new shareholders would be up for discussion and financial statements would be presented.

At least $3 million is required to fully recapitalise the company.

Last year, the firm offloaded its property — Industrial Plot number 39 — to the National Social Security Authority.

The proceeds were used to pay off one of its creditors, Capital Bank (CABS), while the balance was channelled towards the purchase of raw materials.

National Blankets received a $500 000 loan facility from the Central Africa Building Society under the Distressed Industries and Marginalised Areas Fund facility.

The company has already invested in state-of-the-art machinery.

National Blankets replaced obsolete equipment in 2009, but suffered a major knock soon after as it failed to repay a loan borrowed from a local financial institution for the recapitalisation exercise.

Experts say the company has the potential to produce 60 000 blankets a month.

Presently, between 15 000 and 20 000 blankets are being made every month.

The textile industry, especially in Bulawayo, is in a quandary and one of the most hit by the prevalent harsh economic conditions.

More than 10 big companies in the clothing industry in Bulawayo have closed shop in the last few years as challenges affecting the sector continue unabated.

These include True Value, Label Fashion, Suntosha Leisure Wear, Lancaster, Harren Manufacturing, Ascot, Belmor Fashions, Cinderella and Rusglen Fashions.