Africa Bespoke Apparel Launch

Programme Director, Mr Aubrey Shabane
MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mr Sihle Zikalala
Mayor of the eThekwini Municipality, Cllr Zandile Gumede
Chairman of the KZN Growth Fund Board, Mr Siphile Buthelezi
Chairman of the Investment Committee for the KZN Growth Fund, Mr Silas Hlophe
Chief Executive Officer of Africa Bespoke Apparel, Mr Sizwe Mbanjwa
The DDG from the dti, Malebo Mabitjie- Thompson, HOD’s and all government officials.
Captains of industry
Members of the media
Ladies and Gentlemen
A very good morning to you!

Economic growth and transformation, relies on industrialists who can produce, own and distribute goods, anchored in value addition.

One’s who harness the development of local content; and are able to integrate into global value chains.

It is industrialists, like yourselves, who give meaning to Africa’s agenda and policy implementation.

Therefore, it is for this reason that the launch of African Bespoke Apparel, will contribute to the records of history.

It will afford the youth, an opportunity to excel in skills development.

And further affirms us, that Africa’s industrial growth is on the horizon.

In partnership with the provincial government and the KZN Growth Fund, it is therefore an honour, to launch the first Black Industrialist company, in the Textile, Clothing and Footwear sector.

This is in line with Government policy to set the economy on a higher path of shared growth; and to transform its structure, enabling opportunities for millions of (South) Africans.

Africa is an important market for trade in value added products.

Economists predict that in 2019, the apparel market will potentially inject $ 474 million dollars (R 6,6 billion).

Therefore, it certainly is within seasoned time, for African Bespoke Apparel, to leverage on regional and continental initiatives for growth and sustainable development.

At times we are told that success is a state of consciousness, long before it is an actual result.

Thus, I wish to commend African Bespoke Apparel (ABA) for believing that this dream was not an option.

Apart from the R34, 5 million grant, that was approved by the dti; government will continue to support the company, in achieving its objectives.

In validation of the above, the Department of Trade and Industry, has further developed, a Master Plan to grow the clothing, textile, footwear; and leather retail value chain.

The Plan, aimed at additionally creating 60 000 jobs in the sector; and enhance competition will soon be announced.

This proves true, that at the heart of governments policy intervention, is the advancement of the industrial sector – to alleviate poverty, inequality and unemployment.

With Black industrialists like Africa Bespoke Apparel (ABA), I am well affirmed that we are close enough to achieving the above.

The BI incentive, amongst a suite of other supportive schemes, are implemented as reforms in economic sectors; to accelerate growth and job creation.

Black Industrialists like yourselves, are enhancing governments narrative of building an inclusive economy.

This is evident, through your ability to confront complex challenges, affecting our socio-economic framework.

With the 450 new jobs created by ABA, unemployment in the region, is drastically tackled.

With 60% of the company’s raw materials sourced locally, horizontal and vertical diversification of value added goods is promoted.

ABA’s future training academy, in partnership with the Department of Education, will develop the skills propelling the youth into a new age of innovation and discovery.

And it is for this reason that we stand proud in launching an enterprise that will take our country and continent forward.

It takes courage to seize risks, discipline to lead an organization and sacrifice to build any legacy. Congratulations are certainly in order, for fulfilling this.

I urge you, as part of the private sector, to continue collaborating with the government in industry development, improving the local supplier base and increasing export volumes to other countries; through the support of our continental agreements and initiatives.

A company that produces results, aligned to the needs of others, is certainly attuned to leadership. Therefore, persist to lead well.

For when the wind blows vehemently, do not be like the oak tree which fought and was broken; simply be like the willow, which survived because it knew when it had to bend. Best regards as you forge ahead.

I Thank you.

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