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SA’s textile industry on the rise

The Clothing and Textiles Competitiveness Programme (CTCP) has SA’s textile industry on the rise created more than 12 000 new permanent jobs in South Africa’s clothing, textiles, leather and footwear sectors since it was launched in 2010.

This was revealed by Lionel October, director-general of the Department of Trade and Industry (dti), at the Source Africa 2013 Conference in Cape Town recently.

According to October, the programme has helped more than 400 companies and approved R1.5 billion worth of applications.

The CTCP is a programme of the dti that is aimed at boosting the competitiveness of South Africa’s clothing and textile industry, while also creating jobs. It is part of the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP), which seeks to revive labour intensive manufacturing in the country.

According to the IPAP document, the introduction of the CTCP has had a substantial impact on the textiles, clothing, leather and footwear sector in South Africa.

“However, the sector is still faced with a range of significant challenges, currency strength and volatility, under-invoicing and illegal imports, skills and competitiveness deficits and limited economies of scale in parts of the textiles sub-sector,” the document adds.

October expressed confidence that the CTCP was having the desired impact.

“Local retailers are increasing procurement from local manufacturers and there is confidence starting to be shown by the new investment in the sectors.”

He added that other Southern African Customs Union (SACU) countries have embraced the CTCP concept and Swazi- land was in the process of implementing the programme.

According to October, some African countries have experienced success in these sec- tors by using diverse strategies to develop their manufacturing bases.

“Some less developed countries have taken full advantage of international trade agreements like the African Growth and Opportunity Act to build their industries. Through these interventions countries like Lesotho have seen their textiles and clothing sectors growing to the extent that they are now one of the biggest manufacturers on the continent both in fabric and garments.”

Mauritius has also taken advantage of international agreements to stimulate its clothing sector, especially knitted garments.

“Their exports into SACU have grown substantially in the last five years whilst targeting South Africa as their main African destination,” added October.