The Manufacture of Textiles evaluates the domestic industry, government attempts to stimulate local manufacture and factors influencing the sector’s success. The report also profiles 25 industry players, including Ninian & Laster (Pty) Ltd, which manufactures underwear, active wear and circular knitted products and supplies all major retail chains, as well as small retail outlets.
Contribution to the Economy
Although the local textile industry has the potential to create many employment opportunities, the number of workers employed in the sector decreased from more than 50,000 at the end of December 2004 to 29,626 in March 2015. The sector currently contributes less than 0.5%, which equates to under R20bn to South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), down from 3% in 2008.
A lack of Competitiveness
A lack of competitiveness in the manufacturing sector has resulted in South Africa becoming a net importer of textiles. Sources estimate that as far as local fibre production is concerned between 80% and 90% is exported then imported back into the country as beneficiated textiles and clothes. During 2014 the value of imported textiles, which originate mainly from Asia, reached R31.4bn, far more than the value of the country’s exports at R7.9bn. The influx of under-invoiced and illegal imports has also contributed to the decline in the industry.
As the textile manufacturing industry is one of the main focus areas in the Government’s Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP), a number of initiatives have been introduced. The sector is designated in the revised Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act, so state-owned enterprises are supposed to procure all their textile purchases locally. A new R200m grant was announced in June 2014 for the establishment of a national textile and apparel cluster, the Southern African Sustainable Textile and Apparel Cluster (SASTAC). Funding for company investment and the formation of regional clusters is also available through the Clothing and Textiles Competitiveness Programme (CTCP). The export market has not been forgotten, with a White Paper and the drafting of a Bill on Export Development and Promotion.