eThekwini Municipality to invest millions in the textile industry
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DURBAN - THE eThekwini Municipality is planning to “invest” millions of rand in the clothing and textile industry in an effort to protect and grow the sector.
The city will sign a memorandum of understanding with the KZN Clothing and Textile Cluster, a non-profit organisation. Over the next three years, the city will invest more than R12 million to boost the sector after the funding was approved by full council.
In a report on the matter, the city said it is mandated to support industry clusters to encourage participatory economic activities, thereby enabling local industry to stabilise and grow the GDP of the eThekwini region.
It said the clothing and textile industry is the largest employer in eThekwini and the sector remains critical to the growth of the city's economy.
“The KZN Clothing and Textile Cluster is a necessary vehicle to strengthen the industry and collectively drive greater efficiencies and economies of scale that will make the sector more competitive; and to create more jobs and protect the local rates base,” it said.
The report said that given the significance of the industry in the economy of the eThekwini region, support should be given to continued efforts to strengthen it.
The report requests that authority be granted to the head of Economic Development to continue facilitating the eThekwini Municipality's participation in the clothing and textile industry programme through the KZN Clothing and Textile Cluster for the “development, growth, and competitiveness of the sector”.
The city will disburse funds to the KZN Clothing and Textile Cluster amounting to R4.2 million for the 2020/2021 financial year, R4.5m for the 2022/2023 financial year and R4.8m for the 2023/2024 financial year.
It said the city head of Economic Development should provide annual progress reports on the initiative as well as an annual business plan for noting by the Economic Development and Planning Committee.