Posted: September 11, 2020
Stakeholders across the value-chain in the Clothing, Textile, Footwear and Leather (CTFL) industry have committed to working closely with each other over the coming weeks and months to identify and execute on opportunities to deepen localisation and bolster production in the sector.
This was a key outcome of a meeting of the Executive Oversight Committee (EOC) managing the implementation of the masterplan for the sector, which was held on Wednesday, 9 September 2020.
The virtual meeting, chaired and hosted by the Minister of Trade, Industry, and Competition, Minister Ebrahim Patel and attended by other EOC members, including the CEOs of major apparel and textile retailers, manufacturers and organised labour, sought to discuss plans to accelerate bringing back more local apparel and textile production to South Africa.
Retail CEOs present included the CEO of The Foschini Group and Chair of the National Clothing Retail Federation, Mr Anthony Thunström, CEO of Woolworths South Africa, Ms Zyda Ryland, CEO of Pepkor, Mr Leon Lourens, CEO of Mr Price, Mr Mark Blair and the CEO of Truworths, Mr Michael Mark. Representatives from Pick ‘n Pay Clothing were also present along with major manufacturers.
The General-Secretary of SACTWU, Mr Andre Kriel, and the General-Secretary of NULAW, Mr Ashley Benjamin, represented workers in the sector.
Minister Patel was accompanied by a government delegation including Deputy Ministers, Nomalungela Gina and Fikile Majola, the SARS Commissioner, Mr Edward Kieswetter, and ITAC Chief Commissioner, Mr Meluleki Nzimande. The CEO of Proudly South Africa, Mr Eustace Mashimbye, was also in attendance.
The CTFL sector has been negatively impacted by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the associated lockdown. Sales in the first half of the year fell 20% adjusted for inflation versus the equivalent period last year, while production volumes declined by 30%.
Despite this, stakeholders expressed optimism for the remainder of the year, as they accelerate work to increase the levels of local made clothing sold in South African retail stores.
The R-CTFL masterplan, which was signed by stakeholders in November last year, provides a blueprint for investment and job creation through localisation in the industry. The plan includes a bold commitment to increase the proportion of locally produced fashion sold in retail stores from 44% currently to 65% by 2030. The commitment is expected to increase employment in the sector by another 120 000 jobs across the value chain.
Stakeholders reported on activity since the signing of the masterplan, and discussed the immediate steps that can be taken to increase the pace with which the industry achieves its localisation goals.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has made the argument for localisation even more urgent and important. The key issue for our economy now is the return of domestic demand. We need to stimulate the economy via deeper localisation efforts”, said Minister Patel.
“We are now at the stage where we absolutely have to focus for both the good of our industry but also for the South African economy and our future”, said Anthony Thunström CEO of The Foschini Group (TFG) and Chair of the NCRF.
Sidwell Medupe-Departmental Spokesperson
Tel: (012) 394 1650
Mobile: 079 492 1774
Issued by: The Department of Trade, Industry and Industry (the dtic)
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