Posted: February 3, 2020
Furniture Master Plan Consultations Move to Gauteng
|Various stakeholders in the furniture industry will be gathering in Gauteng for a workshop aimed at contributing to the development of a master plan for the industry to ignite growth in the sector. Several workshops have been held in different provinces since 28 January 2020 and Gauteng will be the last to host the event. The Gauteng leg of the workshops will take place at the Riversands Incubation Centre in Fourways on Wednesday, 5 February 2020 from 09:30.
The project is borne out of a partnership between the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), the South African Furniture Initiative and the research organisation Trade and Industry Policy Strategies (TIPS).
This work is in line with the objectives of South Africa’s Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) to drive economic growth and create viable and sustainable jobs. The country’s unemployment rate currently sits at over 29 percent, with most of those unemployed mainly under the age of 35.
The Furniture Industry has been identified among those that are critical in driving employment, due to its labour intensive nature, its ability to be competitive in exports and development of Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME). However, the industry has been battered by challenges in the past few years, which resulted in its overall workforce declining from 50 000 in 2009 to just over 26 000 in 2018.
The government is implementing various support interventions among them improved access to funding, market development, to help sustain and maintain the sector.
The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms Nomalungelo Gina says the dti conducted preliminary research on the current state of the South African furniture industry, including new opportunities for growth, and constraints.
“The findings of the preliminary research will be presented at the workshops in order to get inputs from stakeholders in various provinces. We will look extensively at problems, challenges, threats and new ideas, as we work to place this sector on a growth path,” says Gina