Yesterday, amidst the atmosphere of the Proudly South African Buy Local Summit, the prestigious Furniture Design Awards Ceremony took centre stage, showcasing the ingenuity and creativity within South Africa’s furniture industry. The event, held at the Sandton Convention Centre, served not only as a celebration of design excellence but also as a platform for fostering collaboration and innovation in the sector.

The highlight of the event was a keynote address delivered by the Acting Deputy Director-General of Sectors at the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic), Dr Anneline Chetty, where she emphasised the critical role of the furniture industry in driving economic growth and job creation in South Africa. Addressing the audience, she underscored the importance of collaboration between social partners and government to address challenges such as sluggish domestic growth, constrained demand, and high unemployment.

“Incubating critical skills and empowering entrepreneurs to establish Small, Medium, and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMMEs) in the furniture sector is essential for revitalising the industry. SMMEs, which currently account for 35% of the GDP, are the backbone of job creation in our economy,” she stated.

Referencing the Furniture Masterplan, she outlined the government’s commitment to rebuilding the furniture industry, aiming to return it to its pre-1994 stature. The masterplan, she explained, seeks to enhance the sector’s competitiveness both locally and globally, with a focus on increasing localisation and fostering innovation.

“As we embark on this journey, it is crucial to recognise the opportunities presented by initiatives such as the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). By strengthening our furniture industry, we position South Africa to dominate the African market and maximise the benefits of regional trade agreements,” she said.

The Furniture Design Awards serve as a testament to the industry’s potential, showcasing groundbreaking designs that embody South Africa’s rich cultural heritage and innovative spirit. From contemporary pieces to traditional craftsmanship, the awards celebrate diversity and excellence in furniture design.

The event concluded with a call to action for all stakeholders to rally behind the implementation of the Furniture Masterplan, working collaboratively to unlock the industry’s full potential and creating a sustainable future for generations to come.

The Acting Deputy Director-General of Sectors at the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic), Dr Anneline Chetty delivering a keynote address during the Furniture Design Awards Ceremony in Johannesburg.

Bongani Lukhele – Director: Media Relations
Tel: (012) 394 1643
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Issued by: The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic)
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