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Govt drives WC clothing sector recovery

Jun 13 2012 08:54 Sapa

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Cape Town - National government is to thank for the recovery of the clothing and textile industry in the Western Cape, Cosatu's provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich said on Tuesday.

"This is government as a developmental state playing a positive role in expanding the industrial base of South Africa," said Ehrenreich.

"We need the Western Cape government to also play a part in supporting this sector so that more jobs can be created. The lack of support from the Western Cape government has restricted the extent of the jobs that could be created."

Ehrenreich said the sector had received a "boost" from the state because of a restriction on imports from China as well as funding for new machinery.

Western Cape economic development MEC Alan Winde on Tuesday said that Ehrenreich had no idea what he was talking about.

"Here we have Tony Ehrenreich shooting off like the noon gun before he knows all the facts again," he said.

Winde said the provincial government funded three sector bodies directly. These were the Cape Clothing and Textile Sector, the Cape Town Fashion Council and the Western Cape Clothing and Textile Service Centre.

"Over the last eight years, direct Western Cape Government support for these clothing and textile sector bodies has exceeded R38m."

He conceded though that it was only with hard work across all three spheres of government that success could be achieved in the sector.

The Cape Times reported on Tuesday that the provincial clothing and textile industry was starting to show growth after more than a decade of job losses.

A study showed a projected growth in the Cape Clothing and Textile Cluster of 1.9% between 2010 and 2015.

Employment in companies within the cluster was projected at 25 133 jobs in 2013 and this was expected to grow to 27 463 in 2016 and 30 000 in 2019. 

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