The Zambian government is considering imposing a ban on the importation of second-hand cloths to support and promote value addition in the local textile industry, the Times of Zambia reported on Friday.
The move follows numerous complaints from various industry players who have said the increase in the importation of second- hand cloths was killing the local textile industry. Several textile firms have collapsed due to stiff competition.
Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Robert Sichinga said the importation of second-hand cloths had robbed the local textile industry of value addition and the country has failed to export cotton products.
“We are seriously looking to ban the importation of second-hand material to promote value addition to the local textile industry,” he was quoted as saying by the paper.
According to him, the government has made significant progress to revive the country’s textile industry following the closure of textile companies which could not compete with imported second- hand cloths.
This is not the first time that Zambia is banning the importation of second-hand clothing. In 2012, the government banned the importation of second-hand under-wears on health grounds.
But the business of second-hand under-wears as well as other cloths is still thriving in major cities, especially Lusaka, the country’s capital, where the traders have literally taken up spaces besides roads in the Central Business District.
With the unemployment levels still high, the banning of the second-hand clothing will face still resistance as many are earning a living from the business, known in local languages as Salaula (loosely translated choosing).