Master plan submitted to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in South Africa aims to revive the country’s ailing apparel and textile industry, which had shed between 140,000 to 160,000 jobs in recent years. Job losses, however, have stabilised over the last decade. The plan aims to stop the influx of illegal imports and create 60,000 new jobs by 2030.
According to Michael Lawrence, Executive Director of the National Clothing Retail Federation (NCRF), reviving the sector is not meant to find the cheapest labour, but to drive an intelligent and sustainable agenda to aware consumers. Lawrence was speaking at a panel discussion at the 5th Source Africa and Apparel Textile and Footwear expo in Cape Town recently. The exhibition attracted 130 companies from across Africa. One way in which smuggling of products could be reduced is to limit the ports of entry, said Simon Eppel, researcher at the South African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union.