Work has begun on Ramatex Berhad's US$100 million textile and garment plant in Namibia.

Initial details of the project, which on completion will be the largest integrated facility on the African continent, were announced in July, but it has now been revealed that the plant will provide up to 15,000 jobs in the next five years. Located on a 65 hectare site 3km from Windhoek, the facility will also provide easy access to the huge European and US markets.

Jakova Katuamba, commercial counsellor at the Namibia High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, told Star Business that Ramatex's presence in Namibia will also lead to new investments in support industries such as in the manufacture of buttons, chemicals, plastics and cardboard packaging materials.

He also said that since the textile company would require 20,000 tonnes of cotton lint a year, compared with Namibia's annual harvest of 4,000 tonnes, production of the commodity would have to be increased five-fold.