File photo: Reuters
JOHANNESBURG - H&M is looking at South Africa as a potential supplier, with executives from the world’s second largest clothing retailer visiting some of the country’s main cities this week.

South Africa’s government helped to broker the H&M visit as part of efforts to boost the textile sector which has been hit hard by Chinese clothing imports that led to factory closures and thousands of job losses.

H&M faced protests in South Africa in January this year over an advert which featured a black child wearing a sweatshirt with the slogan “coolest monkey in the jungle.”

H&M apologised for the ad and removed it from its marketing.

“Following their apology ... we have proposed that they atone very practically by sourcing goods from South Africa,” Ebrahim Patel, Minister of Economic Development, said in a speech on May 10.