Local school uniform manufacturers welcome GRN decision
One such manufacturer is the Anusa Schoolwear project in Katutura which was started by the Beautiful Kidz project to help the unemployed mothers in the community to help provide for their children.
According to Jennieke Boiler, project manager at Anusa Schoolwear, the government’s decision to phase out the imports of uniforms especially school uniforms is good news because it will help with the creation of jobs.
“It is very good to see that the government sees the need and that they also realise that when we keep on importing things into Namibia, there is a lot of local people that could have jobs and they do not have so it is actually very bad for the economy even and in the end it does not help the local people. We are very positive about it and I think when they phase out the imports of school uniforms and we start making them here, it will really help to create jobs,” she said.
The Anusa Schoolwear project was started as a income generating project for parents of children who mostly attend the Beautiful Kidz pre-school. The project was started in 2010 and has nine full time employees and supply 21 Katutura Schools with school uniforms.
“We are a community centre and we started as a pre-school for vulnerable children, we saw a lot of home situations where there were people that are unemployed sitting at home everyday without any skills. We got the idea to create jobs for these ladies and we saw the need in the community when it comes to school uniforms. There are so many kids that need school uniforms every year but at the same time parents have to go to town and buy the uniforms there which is very expensive and these parents do not have enough money to buy the uniforms,” she said.
She said the project is popular especially in the community because they focus on quality and their uniforms are cheaper.
“Our prices are cheaper than the imported uniforms and our quality is very good. We make such that our quality is the same as the imported school uniforms. We import our materials because we can not get them locally,” she added.
Cabinet has requested the Ministry of Trade and Industry in conjunction with the Ministry of Education to put an embargo on, and to phase out, the import of public school and nurses uniforms into Namibia, over a period of 2 years, in favour of locally-manufactured school attire, in view of job creation.
Veronica De Klerk, Executive Director of Woman Action for Development said her organisation have been canvassing for this concept for many years, the organisation warmly welcomes this important move, especially now when Namibia is severely hit by drought and poverty with disturbing reports of shocking numbers of children who have perished due to malnutrition
“Although WAD appreciates the fact that the preparations for, and implementation of such a comprehensive project take time, we urgently appeal to both the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Education to do their utmost to speed up the process to realise the project in a much shorter period of time than the cited two years,” she said.
She appealed to both ministries to do their utmost to speed up the process so as to realise the project sooner.
According to the Ministry of Education this is likely to create approximately 8 000 jobs, as the country’s garment manufacturing sector kicks into gear to feed the demand for school uniforms, including shirts, trousers, jerseys and blazers.