The Trade and Industry Department is to develop a master plan to grow the clothing and textile and footwear and leather retail value chain. Isithombe: Sithunyelwe
JOHANNESBURG - The Trade and Industry Department is to develop a master plan to grow the clothing and textile and footwear and leather retail value chain with the aim of creating an additional 60000 jobs in the sector.

Rob Davies, the Trade and Industry Minister, confirmed this week the vision was to develop a master plan to create 60000 additional jobs in the clothing and textile retail value chain.

Davies said his department was working with Justin Barnes, who was the facilitator for the new automotive master plan to 2035 that was announced last Friday, to produce a similar plan for the clothing and textile sector. He said the plan would probably be announced early next year, but “certainly long before the election”.

South Africa’s general elections are scheduled to take place during May next year.

Davies said they envisaged the same sort of concept for the clothing and textile sector as the motor industry, but admitted the challenges and issues confronting this sector were a bit more complicated because of the huge amount of illicit trading happening and new entrants and competitors.

“Some of that has actually got worse in recent years, as we have had instability at customs administration, which has meant we have had more under invoicing and more illegal entry (of goods) and stuff like that,” he said.

Davies was speaking on the sidelines of a function to officially launch the Toyota Wessels Institute for Manufacturing Studies in Durban. Barnes has been appointed executive director of the institute.

He said they had already seen the impact of incentives to the clothing and textile retail value chain a few years ago when the incentive was changed to be based on competitiveness from being earned on the basis of exports, with the duty credits sold to importers of new clothes.

Davies said although there was a slowish uptake of the new competitiveness incentive, some companies started occupying the space called "fast fashion".

BUSINESS REPORT