Factory workers demand a salary increment as was the agreement in 2020, the industry on the other hand is struggling to remain in business. It never rains but it pours, it appears.
On the other hand, a study published by the Private Sector Foundation of Lesotho (PSFL) last week revealed even more tussles the sector is going through since the advent of the pandemic that has left the world economy in shambles.
A snow-ball sampling technique was used to select 93 respondents from local tailoring businesses and five from foreign firms, in which primary data was collected using questionnaires and interviews.
At the forefront, according to the PSFL study, the industry is struggling to regain customers, deal with high rentals as well as expensive fabrics to produce for the currently rigid market condition.
“The respondents clarified that process on fabrics keeps rising, and this was more affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The increase in prices of material from local market was influenced by closed borders as tailors were unable to access material from the international market,” the PSFL study shows.
The fact that borders were closed also added salt to the wound because under normal circumstances, factories depend on international market for sales while some material is obtained from South Africa.
However, despite these challenges, the study recommends among others the establishment of a Textile and Apparel Association (TTA) to deal with all matters relating to the textile and apparel sector.