Patel hails R140m expansion for Sheraton Textiles as pivotal for struggling sector

Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition (dtic), Ebrahim Patel interacts with Sheraton Textiles workers during the launch of the R140 million plant located in Diep River. Photo: Supplied

Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition (dtic), Ebrahim Patel interacts with Sheraton Textiles workers during the launch of the R140 million plant located in Diep River. Photo: Supplied

Published May 6, 2024


Cape Town-based bedding and linen home textiles manufacturer, Sheraton Textiles, has officially commissioned a multi-million rand state-of-the-art production facility in a bid to improve its competitiveness.

The plant, located in Diep River, will also help to enhance Sheraton’s production capacity and augment the company’s growth strategy.

Speaking at the launch event yesterday, Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition (dtic), Ebrahim Patel said this development was in line with the government’s localisation and industrialisation initiatives aimed at strengthening the competitiveness of the local clothing, textiles, footwear and leather Industries.

“It’s imperative for local companies to invest in state-of-the-art plant and production facilities and machinery so that locally produced groups can compete against imports,” Patel said.

“This way, we are helping to preserve local jobs and, in the process, enhancing the country’s industrial capacity.”

Patel added that the newly commissioned plant spoke to the government’s commitment to transforming the country’s socio-economic landscape.

Development financier, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) provided R140 million towards funding towards Sheraton’s acquisition of the new plant.

The event also culminated into Sheraton launching a Workers’ Trust, which will benefit nearly 400 employees of the company.

As part of the terms of the Trust, the IDC will provide funding enabling the trust to acquire a 15% equity in Sheraton to the benefit of employees – a development which was commended by Patel.

Since 2019, the number of Employee Share-Ownership Plans (Esops) has grown to 125, with 98 having already been established, 27 in process of attaining registration, and in the process benefiting 551 000 workers.

The equity or share value of these Esops is now estimated to be R70.3bn, covering 118 companies.

Patel said Esops were key for the government to transform the economy, address inequality and unemployment.

“Since 2019, South African workers spread across key sectors of the economy have become owners of businesses, some which are key to industrialising our economy,” he said.

“Among these is Sheraton Textiles – a company which manufactures and supplies home textile and other bedding, curtaining and napery products to some of the country’s biggest retail and hospitality brands including some retail and hospitality clients spread across the SADC region.”

The newly launched Trust will now have a representative on the Sheraton Textiles Holdings board, enabling workers to have a voice in the strategic and policy direction of the company.

IDC interim CEO David Jarvis committed the IDC to financing more Esops, noting that the development funder had contributed significantly to transforming the local economy and in the process empowering workers in their respective workplaces.

“Since the advent of the new democratic-era, we are proud to have played a meaningful role in the creation of a new society – one in which previously marginalised communities have since being empowered to chart their own economic destiny,” Jarvis said.

“However small their stake in the company, workers are motivated to increase productivity levels in that business. In this case, Sheraton Textiles employees now have equity in a 104-year-old business that has special historical ties to SA’s textile industry.”

Sheraton CEO Saleem Mowzer thanked the IDC for its contribution to Sheraton’s growth trajectory, saying the local textiles industry was facing several headwinds most of which relate to cheap imports from the East.

“The fact that we have been able to maintain our growth momentum in the face of such adversity is largely due to support from partners like the IDC and the dtic. This moment we have just witnessed is significant to the workers of this company in that they can rightfully begin to claim ownership of this business,” Mowzer said.

“This employee share scheme will enable our employees through a trust structure to participate as an equity partner in the company – in the process empowering them to influence the strategic direction of the business, while also benefiting from future dividend payouts,” he said.