Cape Town – The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) has injected about R3.5bn into the clothing and textile industry, which has led to the retention of about 65 000 jobs and creation of an additional 7 000 new decent jobs, Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies told the clothing and textile industry (CTFL) Imbizo on Tuesday.
There have been measures put in place over the years to halt the influx of illegal imports into the country. Some of these include the localisation of work, the formation of clusters as well as the integration of the Industrial Policy Action Plan (Ipap).
"We have seen more than twenty factories open in the clothing and footwear industry and this has led to an increase in exports,” Davies said.
There is a footwear cluster currently operating in Gauteng and other sub-regional clusters in areas such as fashion, technical clusters, leather clusters including the exotic leather such as ostrich leather. This has positioned the industry to be able to take the next step forward in moving into exports.
"I’m told that if we look at leather, which has benefited the auto-interior, furniture, upholstery, footwear and leather goods as well as exotic leather resources, we have been exporting to the value of R5.5bn. And that’s a significant contribution to export earnings," said Davies.
"If we look at the other sub-sectors, we’ve seen a number of exports of footwear into other African countries as part of investments by some of the South African companies."
There has also been a significant development of niches like exotic leathers. In 2015 an exotic leather cluster was also formed, which consists of ostrich and crocodile leather.
"More than 90% our exports in this particular sub-sector has historically been of raw hides, but the value in the value supply chain doesn’t lie there. In fact, earnings from the production exports of raw hides are less than 6% of the total value of the finished handbag," he said.
"The value lies in the entire processing of that product: tanning, dying of raw hides and more than that, turning it into an actual handbag – even branding it as a South African product."
ALSO READ: New push to revive SA textile industry