SA clothing and textile industry drops from 200 000 to 19 000 jobs - researcher

The first Clothing Industry Summit came to a close on Wednesday. The summit ended with a commitment to continue efforts to protect jobs in the sector.

Rob Davies, Minister of Trade and Industry said that whatever is needed to protect the industry must be done and should be in the interest of industry development and to improve the local supplier base.

Ettienne Vlok, Director of Research Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers' Union, spoke with Azania Mosaka about the challenges facing the industry and what tools are available to government to ensure the protection of jobs.

Vlok says the impact of cheap imports on the local clothing industry has created a significant decline in the number of people being employed.

About 15 years ago we had approximately 200 000 people in the clothing textile industry and we're down to about 19 000 now.

Ettienne Vlok, Director of Research Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers' Union

Beyond the stats it means that a lot of people have been retrenched, a lot of factories have closed down.

Ettienne Vlok, Director of Research Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers' Union

Vlok adds that these numbers have contributed to the high numbers of unemployment and inequalities in South Africa. He says the industry is unique in many ways, one being that four out of every five workers are women compared to other manufacturing sectors.

If we grow this industry, we are able to contribute to gender equity.

Ettienne Vlok, Director of Research Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers' Union

Vlok also addresses the potential of major clothing and textile hubs in rural areas being able to create jobs. He says another major challenge is the inability to compete with countries such as China, which use ways to make their products much cheaper.

For more on the outcomes of the Clothing Industry Summit listen to the audio below:


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
[LISTEN] Masterclass on DNA ancestry-testing

[LISTEN] Masterclass on DNA ancestry-testing

Azania Mosaka spoke to Executive Officer at the Academy of Science of South Africa Prof Himla Soodyall.

 'Internet shutdowns are frequent in countries with poor quality of democracy'

'Internet shutdowns are frequent in countries with poor quality of democracy'

Head of the African Futures and Innovation team at the ISS, Dr Jakkie Cilliers speaks on the impact of internet shutdowns.

[LISTEN] Thinking about a career change? Here's what you need to consider...

[LISTEN] Thinking about a career change? Here's what you need to consider...

Azania sat down with career transition coach Mpume Ncube-Daka to understand what a career change may entail.

How one young woman helped set up a date for her 'older' single parent

How one young woman helped set up a date for her 'older' single parent

Skye O'Neill has used social media as a way to try set her mother up on a date.

As a matter of fact:  A look at Ramaphosa's claims about the ANC

As a matter of fact: A look at Ramaphosa's claims about the ANC

The party celebrated its 107th anniversary in Durban last week.

"If you are a black girl, nobody's going to listen to you." #SurvivingRKelly

"If you are a black girl, nobody's going to listen to you." #SurvivingRKelly

Abuse survivor Rosie Motene shares her thoughts on the docuseries Surviving R Kelly which explores sex claims against the singer.

Popular articles
[WATCH] Baby hilariously tries to eat mom's burritos

[WATCH] Baby hilariously tries to eat mom's burritos

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.

Why 'prescribed assets' is (mostly) a terrible idea – Magda Wierzycka (Sygnia)

Why 'prescribed assets' is (mostly) a terrible idea – Magda Wierzycka (Sygnia)

Bruce Whitfield interviews Wierzycka about the ANC’s flirtation with forcing pension funds to invest in ailing SOEs such as Eskom.

I might go back to court - Vodacom 'Please Call Me' inventor Nkosana Makate

I might go back to court - Vodacom 'Please Call Me' inventor Nkosana Makate

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews "Please Call Me" inventor Nkosana Makate.

[WATCH] Gymnast's routine has internet buzzing

[WATCH] Gymnast's routine has internet buzzing

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.