Botswana company to create new products and jobs under SIPS

BY SPECIAL REPORTER

A Botswana company, Cally Clothing and Corporate Gifts (Cally Clothing), is creating a new production line of re-usable unisex scrubs and surgical gowns and employing an additional 14 people, thanks to a €100,000 grant under the Support towards Industrialisation and the Productive Sectors (SIPS) in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Region programme.
The grant will result in the company targeting to produce 700 gowns and scrubs daily and export to other SADC countries.

Cally Clothing and Corporate Gifts is one of the 14 companies in the SADC Region that have received support under SIPS, a programme co-funded by the European Union and the Government of Germany and managed by the SADC Secretariat.

The Joint Action SIPS supports SADC’s industrialisation and regional integration agenda and seeks, among other things, to improve Private Sector participation in the pharmaceutical and medical value chains in the SADC Region.

The grant to Cally Clothing is under the COVID-19-relevant Medical Pharmaceutical Products (CMPP) component of the SIPS value chains. These value chains were given preference due to the public health and economic opportunities for the SADC Region.

Under its core business, Cally Clothing manufactures branded clothing and other promotional materials. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cally Clothing decided to expand its core business to include the manufacturing of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers.

This decision was motivated by the significant growing shortages of PPE since the beginning of the pandemic. Retooling of Cally Clothing’s factory to manufacture scrubs and gowns leverages on its existing facilities, existing employees with prerequisite skills and existing trade accounts with fabric suppliers.

The grant availed to the company will finance the acquisition of machinery and raw materials to create a new production line with an expected daily production capacity of 500 medical scrubs and 200 surgical gowns. Cally Clothing estimates this could create employment for up to 14 additional staff, all of them female.

The company targets its products to be about 21% cheaper than the other products available on the market. The grant is expected to reduce Botswana’s dependency on imported PPE, and to expand national production capacity. 

The company intends to use an innovative production process, where each operator specialises in one major component and sews the component from the beginning to the end. This process is efficient and appropriate to produce surgical gowns and scrubs.

Cally Clothing will use its facility and machinery to provide vocational training and internships for skills development opportunities to the wider community. The company has also donated its products for diverse cultural, sport and social events.

Under SIPS, SADC is strengthening its industrial base, thereby decreasing the Region’s dependency on imported products and mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and possible future pandemics.

Besides personal protective equipment, including face masks, face shields and medical scrubs, the SIPS CMPP aims to scale up the manufacturing of hand sanitisers and hospital disinfectants, and hospital equipment including ventilators. The programme will finance required machinery, raw materials, consulting, and training costs of innovative manufacturing projects within the SADC Region.

PHOTO: Mr Callistus Phologolo of Cally Clothing/SADC

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