South Africa’s big clothing retailers have vowed to buy an additional 85 million units of clothes, shoes and leather goods manufactured in the country over the next few years to boost the textile industry. This step in the clothing retail sector is likely to boost the acquisition of domestic goods from its present level of 44 percent to 65 percent by 2030.
The announcement was recently made at the South Africa Investment Conference in Sandton, where a master plan for the development of the local textile, clothing, shoe and leather industry was signed by, among other parties, government, labour, the Foschini Group, Pepkor, Edcon, Mr Price and Woolworths, according to media reports in South Africa.
The textile industry in the country has lost about 120 000 jobs since the drastic reduction of import tariffs during the 1990s. The sector presently employs about 95 000 and contributes 2.9 percent to the country’s gross domestic product.
More than 60 percent of textile, clothing, shoes and leather products for the domestic market are imported at present.
According to the master plan, the government pledged to take decisive action against illegal imports and unions bound themselves to adjustments in the employment environment, which would increase competitiveness.
Manufacturing companies promised R6.8 billion in investment over the next five years.
This is part of the R370 billion in investment pledges made during the investment conference and will contribute to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s goal of achieving R1.2 trillion investment in South Africa over the next five years.
According to the department of trade, industry and competition, the implementation of the textile master plan will create an additional 120 000 jobs in the value chain, with 70 000 of these being in manufacturing.