Union calls out Bafana Bafana for wearing foreign-sponsored suits

The Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers Union (Sactwu) and Proudly South Africa have criticised the choice of a Turkish clothing manufacturer to sponsor suits for national soccer team Bafana Bafana. 

This comes as the SA government is pushing a buy local campaign in an attempt to stimulate the local economy. 

In his State of the Nation Address in June, President Ramaphosa said government would work to "grow South African manufacturing by making sure the ‘Buy Local’ campaign is everywhere and ever-present". Ramaphosa was wearing a bespoke suit from House of Monatic in Cape Town when he delivered his address. 

In a joint statement on Tuesday, Sactwu and Proudly SA said they had "noted with dismay the photos of Bafana Bafana travelling to and from Egypt for their recent AFCON campaign wearing wholly imported suits sponsored by Damat".

Proudly South Africa is a group that seeks to increase local production and influence consumers to buy locally-produced goods.

A note on the South African Football Association's website states that the national team had been sponsored suits by D’S Damat, a "Turkey-based clothing company".

SAFA’s head of delegation at the AFCON tournament in Egypt, Kwenza Ngwenya, is quoted as saying, “When you look nice, your self-confidence is at an all-time high and I would like to commend D’S Damat for making sure our national teams look the part.

“Both Bafana Bafana and Banyana Banyana looked immaculate in their sponsored suits, thanks to Damat,” said Ngwenya.

In their joint statement on Tuesday Sactwu and Proudly SA said that while "technical specs may require some kit items to be manufactured overseas", all track suits, formal and informal wear of the teams and technical staff can be sourced in South Africa.

"We are asking the sporting codes, when entering into sponsorship discussions, to make reasonable, partial localisation a condition of the contract," said the two groups.

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