SA textiles industry ‘creating jobs again’

12 April 2013

South Africa’s clothing and textiles competitiveness programme (CTCP) has halted the employment decline and helped to create 12 000 new permanent jobs in the sector, says Department of Trade and Industry Director-General Lionel October.

Speaking at the opening of a four-day Source Africa 2013 event in Cape Town on Tuesday. The event, supported by the USAid Southern Africa Trade Hub, is designed to highlight what Africa has to offer in textiles and apparel.

“Local retailers are increasing procurement from local manufacturers and there is confidence starting to be shown by the new investment in the sectors,” October told delegates at the event.”

The CTCP had halted the employment decline in these sectors “and more than 12 000 new permanent jobs have been created. Local retailers have committed to local procurement in support of manufacturing companies”.

October said that over 400 companies had received assistance under the programme, with R1.5-billion worth of applications approved.

Other southern African countries have embraced the programme’s concept, October noted, with Swaziland in the process of implementing a similar programme.

October said it was important to promote intra-African trade in order to exploit the industry’s growth and job-creation potential.

“These sectors are labour-intensive and have the potential to create large employment, especially in the garment manufacturing sector where the investment is low but the job creation is enormous.”

Raw materials like fibres, skins and hides were readily available in Africa, and it therefore make business sense to beneficiate these raw materials “instead of exporting jobs by selling these resources to countries out of Africa”.

October said South Africa had opened its markets to Africa countries whose manufacturing sectors were developed and where rules of origin were respected. He stressed that South Africa did not support traders that specialised in trans-shipments, which served only to destroy countries’ manufacturing bases.

SAinfo reporter