The Manufacture of Textiles examines the South African textile industry with an emphasis on the manufacture of home and lifestyle textiles and other finished textile products. Market structure and demand, current conditions and factors influencing the sector’s success are covered in this detailed report. The report profiles 18 industry players, including Gelvenor Textiles which was acquired by South African private equity firm Jacobs Capital for an estimated R285m during 2016. The acquisition brought a further merger as MB Workwear, acquired the previous year, became a division of Gelvenor Consolidated Fabrics.
Manufacture of Textiles
Sales of manufactured textiles were worth around R25bn in 2017, with finished textile products accounting for some R14bn. Although seeing a marginal improvement in the textile trade balance, the South African sector continues to be reliant on the export market while imports, particularly from China, remain a matter of concern. In general the industry is characterised by a relatively high number of small and micro-enterprises as well as informal operations. There were only 20 large firms employing more than 150 people in operation at the end of 2017. As a result, the market is relatively concentrated with the top five companies in the textiles sub-sector accounting for around 40% of income. The sector is relatively labour-intensive and more than 31,000 people, including a high number of women, are employed.
Improving Industry Competitiveness
A great deal of government activity and support focuses on improving industry competitiveness while other interventions focus on buoying local demand and creating efficiencies throughout the value chain from supplier to retailer. These include the Clothing and Textiles Competitiveness Programme (CTCP) and the establishment of a number of regional and product specific clusters. Major clusters include the Cape Clothing and Textile Cluster (CCTC), the KwaZulu-Natal Clothing and Textile Cluster (KZNCTC), and the Southern African Sustainable Textile and Apparel Cluster (SASTAC) with links to Cotton South Africa (Cotton SA).