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The South African Clothing Industry
Data provided by Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) indicates that the total value of the country’s Clothing, Textile, Footwear and Leather (CTFL) market exceeds R180bn. However, the domestic clothing manufacturing sector has declined sharply over the past two decades and currently contributes only 3.2% towards the country’s total manufacturing production. The CTFL sector has shed almost 170,000 jobs during the past fifteen years and as at June 2017 the industry provided formal employment to 87,057 people. There are an estimated 800 clothing manufacturers but less than half of these companies are registered with the National Bargaining Council (NBC) for the clothing manufacturing industry. This means a substantial number of companies continue to conduct non-compliant operations.
School Uniform Sector
The competitive school uniform industry which serves approximately 15 million learners and is estimated to be worth R10bn is currently the focus of a Competition Commission investigation. The investigation into the industry is in response to complaints from parents and other interested parties that certain schools and/or their governing bodies have entered into prejudicial supplier agreements with specific manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers. According to the Competition Commission, of the 1,595 schools surveyed, 33% of all former ‘Model C’ schools and 32% of all private schools have concluded exclusivity agreements with school uniform suppliers. Some role players have attributed the high cost of customised school uniforms to the hyper-cyclical nature of the market.
The South African Clothing Industry report provides an overview of the sector, outlines current conditions and discusses factors that influence the success of the industry. The report profiles 95 companies active in the manufacture, wholesale, retail and online retail of clothes. Profiles for Allwear Clothing, the leading manufacturer of school wear in the country, online clothing retailer, Spree and Skinny Sbu Socks owned by Sibusiso Ngwenya, a successful niche sock designer are included in this comprehensive report.