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Non-compliance with minimum employment rules a challenge in SA clothing manufacturing industry

Nov 05 2019 19:50
Compiled by Carin Smith

Efforts to improve compliance with minimum employment conditions remains a challenge in South Africa's clothing manufacturing industry, according to Marthie Raphael, chair of the National Bargaining Council for the Clothing Manufacturing Industry.

This is, therefore, one of the issues the council wants to address going forward, she said at its recent annual general meeting in Cape Town.

The council has continued to prosecute offenders for non-compliance with its main collective agreement and tried to ensure that only companies with compliance certificates are able to access government funding, states Raphael's report delivered at the AGM.

Another challenge facing the local clothing manufacturing industry is continued economic pressure, not only in SA, but compounded by unstable global conditions.

As for industry trends, Raphael's report says the South African market demand increasingly reflects the sophistication of first world markets.

Since 1994, about US$900m has been spent on modernising and upgrading the industry in an effort to make it efficient and internationally competitive.

The local clothing and textile industry has, therefore, grown to offer a full range of services from natural and synthetic fibre production to non-wovens, spinning, weaving, tufting, knitting, dyeing and finishing.

Furthermore, due to technological developments, local textile production has evolved into a capital-intensive industry, producing synthetic fibres in ever-increasing proportions, states her report.

"The apparel industry has also undergone significant technological change and has benefited from the country's sophisticated transport and communications infrastructure," states Raphael.

SA's clothing manufacturing exports account for R1.4bn for apparel and R2.5bn for textiles, mostly to the US and European markets.

The council was created in 2002. Its objective includes providing the members with health care services, maximising the collection of members' provident funds and investing these to achieve maximum returns for the members. In total, the Provident Fund Assets under the management are currently more than R2bn.

sa economy  |  clothing  |  manufacturing
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