Midlands reporter
GWERU-BASED Bata Shoe Company has said it has resumed gumboot
production after opening a $500 000 gumboot factory last year
following the disbandment of the product line at the height of
hyper-inflation in 2008.

Company managing director Ehsan Zaman said the plant is currently
running one shift with the possibility of increasing the number
(shifts) to three.”The gumboot plant has been commissioned and we are the only ones having the production in the country,” Zaman said during a recent tour of the firm  by Midlands Minister of State for Provincial Affairs,
Larry Mavima. “It is running one shift at the moment but it has the possibility to run three shifts meaning we can support the requirements and probably can reduce the imports from outside. We have replaced many old equipment and machinery, including compressors that are 30 years old.
Our shoe machinery is improving our efficiency.”

Zaman said the company managed to employ more than 200 people after
opening the plant and increasing the number of its retail outlets.
He also said the firm produced products that were of good quality and durable.”We have created 290 jobs and have done some investment in the past three years was well as increasing the number of retail stores from 45
to 93,”he said.

Zaman said after the company re-introduced the Pata Pata brand in
2017, it has to date managed to produce more than 1,5 million Pata
Patas for the local and export markets.

Before re-introducing the gumboot and Pata Pata brands, Bata used to
import the two products from South Africa and Zambia and Malawi
respectively.

Bata is the biggest shoe manufacturer in the country, with about 1 500 workers. At its peak, the company had a 5 000-strong workforce, but the number
dwindled over the years due to the economic downturn.

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