Rise Uniforms receives R10 million funding to produce 7 million face masks
The universal protective mask policy which requires citizens to wear face masks when in public has increased the nationwide demand for protective masks. In response to this market need the NEF has funded Rise Uniforms to the value of R10 million through the COVID-19 Fund to purchase machinery and raw material that will help the company to produce 55 000 masks a day.
Based in Cape Town, Rise Uniforms is a 100% black woman-owned and managed business that specialises in clothing manufacturing for a wide range of items such as corporate uniforms and school wear. Proprietor, Ms Ntobekhaya Nonxuba, says “Rise Uniforms already has an order of 7 million face masks from Health Zone Pharmacy and Clinic, and we have already supplied the client with 48 000 masks. We are grateful to the NEF for this funding because it will help us increase our manufacturing capacity to 55 000 face masks per day.
Due to the shortage of local specialised equipment the required machinery will be imported from China so that we may continue producing disposable and reusable face masks. We are privileged to be able to play a part in helping the country to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic”.
The business currently has 43 employees and 20 new jobs will be created with the protective face masks line. Rise Uniform has previously received funding from the NEF for clothing- manufacturing. “The NEF views this as an investment that will have a high impact in the manufacturing industry, thereby assisting in job creation and the spirited fight to flatten the curve of the pandemic.
The applicant has made own contribution of R950 000 and is an experienced entrepreneur with a solid 5-year track record in business and we are confident that this is a prudent investment that takes the country forward in the quest for inclusive growth,” says Nhlanhla Nyembe Divisional Executive, SME and Rural Community Development.
In line with the concessionary terms of the NEF COVID Fund, which is offered in partnership with the dtic, the loan will be payable over 24 months following a 6-month interest and capital moratorium. The loan is priced at 2,5% fixed interest rate.
Ms Nonxuba holds a National Diploma in Clothing Management as well as B Tech and Master’s degree in Quality Management and has been in the clothing industry for over sixteen years.