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Manufacture and Retail of Clothes
As with the textiles industry, a lack of competitiveness in the clothing manufacturing sector has resulted in South Africa becoming a net importer of clothes. Statistics for 2014 reveal that the value of imports increased by 13.7% from 2013 to reach R18.7bn. Despite this, stakeholders report an improvement in the sector with employment increasing from 51,703 workers at the beginning of 2014 to 56,290 at the end of July 2015. As far as the retail sector is concerned, there has been an influx of foreign retailers in the last five years competing for a share of the local clothes market. This has encouraged local retailers to improve the competitiveness of their supply chains by working closely with manufacturers and switching to a Quick Response (QR) model.
Government incentives introduced in 2010 as part of the DTI’s Clothing and Textile Competitiveness Programme have enabled clothing manufacturers to upgrade equipment, skills and processes, leading to more competitive manufacture. Other measures to support the competitiveness of the industry include the proposed Export Development and Promotion Bill, the average 22% import duty on fabrics, the imposition of a 45% import duty on garments imported by foreign retailers and the establishment of an industry body, the Clothing and Textile Development Council (CTDC).
The report on the South African Clothing Industry evaluates the domestic industry, government attempts to stimulate local manufacture and factors influencing the sector’s success. The report profiles 80 companies active in the manufacture, wholesale and retail of clothes. Included are the six main retailers, The Foschini Group (TFG), Edcon, Truworths, Woolworths, Pep and the Mr Price Group. Also profiled are manufacturer and wholesaler, Ninian and Lester (Pty) Ltd, which specialises in the production of underwear, socks and active wear, and SMME Karma Clothing (Pty) Ltd, which employs 70 people to manufacture ladies’ and men’s corporate wear at three factories in the Western Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.