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Textile factories twist minister’s hand

The Minister of Employment and Labour, Keketso Rantšo


Jan. 18, 2021 3 min read

3 min read


AT LEAST 25 textile factories are still open after they convinced the Minister of Employment and Labour, Keketso Rantšo to allow them to continue working during the lockdown, claiming they already have goods that need to be shipped to the market last Thursday.

The Minister confirmed that the 25 firms which have been permitted to work through the lockdown period include Long Chang Clothing (Pty) Ltd, Maseru E Textile, Lesotho Carton (Pty) Ltd, Adient Lesotho (Pty) Ltd, TZICC Clothing Manufacturer (Pty) Ltd, Super Knitting (Pty) Ltd, Lesotho Precious Garments (Pty) Ltd, Eclat Evergood Textile (Pty) Ltd and Hippo Knitting (Pty) Ltd.
Others are Boming Lai Teng (Pty) Ltd, Ever Unison Garments Lesotho (Pty) Ltd, Ever Unison Garments II Lesotho (Pty) Ltd, Leo Garments (Pty) Ltd, Sun Textile (Pty) Ltd, Nien Hsing International Lesotho (Pty) Ltd, Formosa Textile Company (Pty) Ltd, Formosa Textile Company (Pty) Ltd, Formosa Corrugated Paper Mill (Pty) Ltd, C&Y Garments Company (Pty) Ltd, Global Garments Company (Pty) Ltd and Tai Yuan Garments (Pty) Ltd, Including J&S Fashions (Pty) LTD, Asia Garments (Pty) Ltd, New Epoch Knitting (Pty) Ltd, Kopano Textile (Pty) Ltd and Jiao Yang (Pty) Ltd.
Ms Rantšo noted that the said firms provided proof that they do have goods awaiting shipment and that the products were expected in the market.

The evidence, she said was submitted to her office and the Minister of Trade and Industry’s before the permission was granted.

She said preventive and safety measures would be observed at the 25 factories, promising that personnel from her ministry would keep visiting those firms to ensure compliance.
''We are fully aware that they are many but my staff will do all it can to visit them all in these two weeks,” she said.

She noted that only factories that have permits to remain open will be operational, adding that the rest are expected to close shop as per the prime minister’s order.

“A gazette which allows these manufacturers to remain open is already being processed and will be released soon by the Minister of Health,” she also said.
Commenting on the matter, the Secretary General of the National Allied and Clothing Textile Workers Union (NACTWU) Sam Mokhele confirmed that they also approached the government to convince it to allow other textile factories to operate during the lockdown.
Mr Mokhele said as the representatives of the factory workers, they had not been approached prior to the announcement of the lockdown and felt hard done hence they approached the government to express their dissatisfaction, adding that their employers also did the same thing.


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He said the employers threatened to shut down their businesses and go to other countries if their views were not considered, adding that would result in huge job losses if it were to happen.
“However, even though it is everybody’s responsibility to ensure their safety against the pandemic, it was agreed that the employers must ensure that safety protocols be observed at work place at all times,” he also noted.
He said some of the factory workers returned to work on Thursday and others on Friday, adding that the rest will go back on Monday as per the agreement with the government.
Last year, the factory workers were given M800 allowances for three months as part of minimising the impact of the lockdown as they were not allowed to go to work.

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