Clothing and textile industry shakes off cobwebs
bdlive.co.za - Dec 21st 2015, 11:12
The Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (Sactwu) says the clothing, textile, footwear, and leather manufacturing industry is entering a period of greater stability and higher levels of growth.
The clothing, textile, footwear, and leather manufacturing sectors are a key employment driver especially in the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, where most factories are located.
The Statistics SA Quarterly Employment Survey released this week shows that in the year to September employment in the sector increased 1.8%. This came after high levels of job losses had decimated the sector for more than two decades when at least 50 000 jobs were lost.
The government’s Industrial Policy Action Plan has identified the sector as "high priority" because of its labour-intensive character.
In many developing countries, the sector has provided the early impetus for industrialisation, economic growth, and job creation.
However, in the past decade the sector has been hit hard by imports from China and other Asian countries.
Sactwu general secretary Andre Kriel said on Thursday employment over the past year had been driven by growth in the clothing sector (676 new jobs), textile sector (1 197 new jobs), and the leather sector (268 new jobs). Mr Kriel said these figures compared favourably to the declining fortunes of the manufacturing sector as a whole, in which employment decreased 0.3% over the same period.
"This reinforces Sactwu’s opinion that the (clothing, textile, footwear and leather) manufacturing industry is entering a new period of greater stability, and hopefully higher levels of growth," Mr Kriel said.
Much of this positive turn in employment was attributed to strong support for the industry from the government since 2009, coupled with the union’s Save Jobs campaign.
"Significantly, this is the second consecutive quarter that employment in our industry has grown, following the 3% increase recorded in the previous quarter," said Mr Kriel.
Johann Baard, executive director of the Cape Clothing Association, representing clothing and textile and manufacturers, echoed Mr Kriel’s sentiments. He said the sector had stabilised because government support measures had led to greater competitiveness and improved productivity due mainly to the installation of new plant, equipment, and machinery.
The exchange rate had served as a growing disincentive for retailers to source off shore, Mr Baard said.
They continued to experience cost pressure in the mass-produced commodity-clothing sector, "which is where the real potential for massive job creation lies. Here we still experience huge influx of cheap imports from locations such as China, Vietnam, Madagascar, Lesotho, and Swaziland," Mr Baard said.
The survival of compliant factories who pay the bargaining council wage rates was increasingly being threatened by an ever-growing number of noncompliant factories in the non-metro rural locations of SA, "many of whom pay less than half the legal minimum wages", said Mr Baard.
Figures show about 27 000 workers are employed in these noncompliant factories. "This is a major challenge to the future of the bargaining council and is something the parties to the council will need to address in order to secure the sustainability of compliant factories, particularly in the metro areas of Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban."From DFM Publishers (Pty) Ltd
Footgear gets go-ahead to buy Edcon's footwear brands
13/09/2019 - 09:24
Footgear, the South African retailer of branded and non-branded footwear, on Thursday received the green light to purchase the assets and business associated with Edcon Limited’s Edgars Active and High Key brands.
Increase in sales reflect stronger second quarter
13/06/2019 - 10:41
Data from Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) showed that retail sales in April increased 2.4percent year-on-year - the strongest gain in retail trade in six months, providing further evidence that the economy began the second quarter on a firmer footing following the first quarter’s 3.2percent plunge.
Nike and Adidas join 173 US shoe retailers in call to avoid ‘catastrophic’ tariffs
21/05/2019 - 12:23
Nike, Adidas, and other footwear giants urged President Donald Trump to reconsider his tariffs on shoes made in China, saying the policy would be “catastrophic for our consumers, our companies and the American economy as a whole”.
Taking stock of fashion's $210bn inventory problem
16/05/2019 - 11:08
Fashion retailers are faced with a dilemma: to keep up with the demands of 'fast fashion' they need rapid stock turnover. But what do they do with the surplus?
Retail sales recover in January after dismal December figures
22/03/2019 - 09:23
Retail spending showed signs of recovery in January, growing 1.2% on an annualised basis, slightly faster than analysts had expected.