BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
In an interview with NewsDay on the sidelines of the on-going Leather Institute of Zimbabwe (LIZ) three-day financial and services workshop, Homelink sales and channels manager of the SME division, Sibusisiwe Mashoko, said the facility was available for tenors of 12 months for working capital and 36 months for capital expenditure.
“Homelink Finance is availing the players in the leather institute access to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe $15 million export facility. This facility is available for tenors of 12 months for working capital and 36 months for capital expenditure. The interest rates are at 7,5% per annum,” she said.
“Active players who are carrying out import substitution manufacturing and export leather and its products are able to access these funds.”
The state of leather industry in Zimbabwe requires the provision of customised composite capital injection, hence, the need for the financial services sector to have an appreciation of the basic operations and production processes of the sector, according to LIZ board chairman, Cornelio Sunduza.
As such, the objective of the workshop is to develop an appreciation of the leather industry, its various production and costing process then carry out an orientation exercise to financial service providers and decision makers working with the leather industry.
Speaking at the workshop, Bulawayo Metropolitan Provincial minister, Angeline Masuku said funding enterprises was an essential component of enabling industry to flourish.
“We are looking forward to the success of these efforts to bring together the financial services sector together with the leather sector for the revival of one of the historical powerhouse sectors in Bulawayo province,” she said.
She said a thriving leather sector would contribute to the export drive of the country and the import substitution strategy of the nation.
“It will provide much needed uptake of the products emanating from the agricultural sector to the benefit of the farmers who are currently not getting full value from their livestock in the value chain,” she said.
“The stimulation of the leather industry will result in the revival of a sustainable industry that contributes meaningful to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). The creation of much needed employment opportunities in the province will emanate from a thriving leather industry.”
Masuku said private players should not wait for the government to do things for them, but should embrace the new way of doing business by taking initiatives which the government could support.
“We look forward to seeing a thriving leather industry from engaging with small to medium enterprises to the creation of international partnerships for the revival of our economy,” she said.