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General News Wed, 22 Jan 2003

SSNIT Sabotage President's Initiative

A decision by the management of SSNIT to procure new uniforms from South Africa for its female staff has incurred the displeasure of some persons involved in the textiles and garments industry in Ghana.

SSNIT says importing the uniforms from South Africa will be much cheaper than relying on locally produced ones. But supporters of the President?s Special Initiative on Textile and Garments see the move as running counter to efforts to support the local industry.

Measurements and other details have already been taken and forwarded for the uniforms to be produced. The award of the contract to a South African company is reported to have angered companies involved in the garments initiative.

They contend that SSNIT?s decision is not only demoralizing but an expression of a lack of faith in the PSI and the Ghanaian private sector. JoyNEWS enquiries at the SSNIT head office established that the uniforms have always been sewn here in Ghana. But management says the Ghanaian uniforms are of inferior quality and more expensive compared to those from South Africa.

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A management source told JoyNEWS in reaction to the concerns about the South African contract that uniforms produced in Ghana do not last beyond six months. The new uniforms are expected to last for two years as against the less than a year life span of the Ghanaian produced uniforms. Each of the company?s junior female employees across the country will receive four sets of the new uniform.

And according to the management source, the unit cost per uniform, including the fabric and sewing fee is only about 200,000 cedis. That explanation has however been rejected by some major players in the Ghanaian private sector.

A business executive involved in the garments business told JoyNEWS that a Ghanaian company can produce uniforms from quality imported fabric with good designs. SSNIT also says it is supporting the PSI and the private sector in other areas including the reliance on the Ghana Textile Printing company- GTP for cloths used in kaba for use by the female staff on Fridays.

Source: Joy Online
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