Union challenges Saru to prove rugby gear is not imported

2011-09-07 11:20

The SA Rugby Union (Saru) has been challenged to conduct an independent audit to prove its claim that most Springbok rugby supporters’ gear was locally made.

“This will once and for all empirically expose the truth,” the SA Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (Sactwu) said today.

Cosatu claimed yesterday that Springbok jerseys were being imported from a Chinese company.
This was “a scandal”, said Western Cape Cosatu spokesperson Tony Ehrenreich.

“This is no doubt the same Saru philosophy that gives rise to the slow pace of development and transformation in rugby.”

Cosatu wanted Saru to give an undertaking, by Friday, that it would make a special arrangement to locally manufacture supporter jerseys. Cosatu also wanted Saru to apologise to workers for not supporting “Proudly South African production”.

Saru responded by saying its licensing agent, Signet Licensing, had contracted various suppliers to make and supply the clothing, and the majority of the goods were produced in South Africa.

Sactwu general secretary Andre Kriel said: “The evidence on the retail store shelves so clearly proves otherwise.”

Signet Licensing chose not to comment and referred all queries to Saru, whose spokesperson was not immediately available.

However, Sactwu welcomed Saru’s commitment to increase local procurement in the future.

“We will now seek a meeting with Saru in order to concretise the implementation ... of their public commitment to increase local manufacturing of rugby supporters’ gear,” said Kriel.

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