Botswana Textile and Clothing Association (BTCA) has successfully capacitated its members to execute the statutory instrument for supply of locally manufactured school uniforms countrywide.

The organisation has signed a memorandum of understanding with Absa Bank Botswana which will provide financial support to build and increase capacity within their manufacturing capabilities.

There are 64 members registered under the association currently. BTCA Chief Executive Officer, Tshepiso Robert said by next year members envisages building enough capacity to meet the full demand from the school uniform retailers and chain stores. “Although it had been of short notice to meet such a daunting challenge our members have risen to the task by coming together offering each other support in the form of financing of raw materials, provision of expert advice, offering CMT orders and sharing their orders with each other based on their capacities.”

He said Premier Clothing (Pty) Ltd is offering to supply all BTCA members with continuous supply of BOBS and SABS standard compliant fabrics and accessories at competitive prices. Premier Clothing (Pty) Ltd has agreed to share their orders from chain stores with other member manufacturers on a CMT basis to assist them to build capacity.

“Our members are forming clusters to enable them to win large orders from chain stores. We are working around the clock to provide all necessary support to all members to meet this challenge and facilitate a smooth transition,” he said adding that all members have increased their efforts to meet the demand for school uniforms.

In October last year, government issued a Statutory Instrument which restricts importation for school uniform and requires that import permit be issued if necessary. The Ministry of Trade and Industry stated that the purpose of the Statutory Instrument was to promote local production, build competitiveness and sustainability of the local textile and clothing industry. It is further intended to stimulate investment and job creation within the sector.