Courtney Matende, Midlands Reporter
BATA Shoe Company is seeking to raise US$400 000 to invest in poly urethane (PU) pouring technology in order to produce up to 120 000 pairs of shoes per shift.
Giving an over view of the company’s operations during a tour by Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce Raj Modi at the Bata Factory in Gweru recently, managing director Mr Simon Mutisya said the PU technology was not common in the whole of Africa.
“The investment we have earmarked is for is the poly urethane pouring technology and we are looking at US$400 000. Initial run requires 60 000 pairs on a single shift or 120 000 pairs on a double shift depending on the demand and it will create jobs along the way,” he said.
“Everybody is very passionate about this one because we will be the second company to have it in Africa. With PU pouring we are able to make industrial shoes in mono colour or bi colour sole, whatever selection that we are going to get from the customers,” he said.
Mr Mutisya said they were currently operating at 50 percent installed capacity and wanted to increase to 70 percent by year end.
“The challenges we are facing are basically the whole technology that we are using and the quality of hides but we are working on it. There are recommendations on how to address this when the time comes,” he said.
“So far the reception of the samples that we have sent around to the mining industry among other organisations is positive and we hope this is the area we are going to grow and even invest in more machines.
“We are able to remain in the market in this operation but our wish is to serve the customers, the demand is still there, it is only for us to explore the potential that we have.”
Deputy Minister Modi said Government was working on modalities to support the manufacturing sector so that there is socio-economic development in the country.