Johannesburg - Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies
on Tuesday launched the Clothing and Textile Competitiveness Programme (CTCP) and its core funding mechanism, the Production Incentive (PI), aimed at restructuring South Africa's clothing and textiles sector.
The CTCP and PI programmes - together with five other core projects of the Clothing and Textile Customised Sector Programme (CSP) - represent a fundamental shift in the department of trade and industry's (dti's) strategic approach to restructuring this sector for long-term sustainability and competitiveness.
The main objective is to assist the industry in upgrading processes, products and people, and to re-position it to compete effectively, domestically and globally, the dti said in a statement.
The CSP has six core projects - the CTCP and PI, a skills development plan, broad-based black economic empowerment, a technology and innovation plan, the review of import tariffs on raw material, and combating customs fraud.
The CTCP desk was established at the Industrial Development Corporation in April 2009 to manage the CTCP.
Addressing the delegates at the launch on Tuesday, Davies indicated that the CTCP desk had received over 80 applications valued at R311.8m, of which applications to the value of R36m have already been approved.
"The aim of the scheme is to provide support for the industry and to address challenges to upgrade productivity, product design, the hardware and the capital equipment. In line with our approach to funding initiatives, the incentive will be measured to show their impact and future funding will be based on proven outcomes", said Davies.
He also stated that the industry needed shielding while the transition is under way, partly through raised tariffs.
"The competitive challenges are becoming stronger and stronger and if the local industry is to survive it has to address a number of these issues. Ultimately the challenge is that the industry is going to have to make adjustments and raise its competitiveness", said Davies.