1 of 2018



Newsletter No. 01                                                                                       19 January 2018

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Big changes on the cards for South African school uniform prices: report

Competition Commission investigations into the R10 billion school uniform industry has found anti-competitive behaviour between a number of schools and uniform suppliers.

Speaking to The Star, Competition Commission spokesperson Sipho Ngwema said that the investigation was at an advanced stage and that an announcement would be made in the coming weeks.

The Commission’s findings are expected to reduce the cost of school uniforms countrywide, after it was found that a number of schools have entered into exclusive agreements with a single supplier, limiting accessibility and driving up prices.

According to Ngwema, some of the findings so far include:

  • Over a third of private schools and former Model C schools were found to have exclusive agreements with school uniform suppliers. Of these, 87% of private schools and 53% of former Model C schools have just one exclusive agreement.
  • The majority of schools which have entered into exclusive agreements for the supply of school uniforms had not done so through open tenders across all provinces.
  • These contracts had existed for a number of years, with the earliest contract being made in 1974.

The Commission is also likely to enforce a circular issued by the Basic Education Department in May 2015 which stated that school uniforms should be as generic as possible, so that that they could be obtainable from as many suppliers as possible.

Counterfeit clothing a major problem in South Africa

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) seized more than R97-million worth of fake clothing in its crackdown against illegal clothing and textile imports in 2017. About 75 000 counterfeit shoes were also confiscated. The country’s clothing and textile sector is tremendously hit by illegal import of counterfeit goods, according to Customs Investigations.

The import of counterfeit clothing and textiles and other infringements, including under-declaration and misclassification, is a massive problem in South Africa. Therefore‚ the customs department is also focusing on plugging the leaks at non-designated border posts, a South African newspaper quoted a senior customs official as saying.

Several factories closed down in the last few years due to the proliferation of cheap legitimate imports‚ as well as the illegal imports of second-hand clothes and counterfeit clothes and shoes‚ particularly from Asia. F2F

30% duty on imported cotton fabric in Zimbabwe from Jan 1 2018.

Zimbawe will impose 30 per cent customs duty on imported cotton fabric beginning January 1 as part of tax measures aimed at protecting local industries. This was recently announced by finance minister Patrick Chinamasa. The textile sector continues to face competition from cheap imported fabrics despite government support measures, he said.

Due to limited administrative capacity at borders to identify the various types of fabrics, importers declare imported products under tariff codes attracting lower duty rates, a newspaper in Zimbawe quoted Chinamasa as saying.

To combat this, his ministry will soon introduce a fabric specification declaration form to verify the imported fabrics, he said. The help of the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority will also be taken in this initiative.

COMESA grant for leather, clothing sectors in Zimbabwe

The Government of Zimbabwe last month sealed a $2.6-million grant with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) to support the country’s’s leather and clothing sectors. The sectors have been in the doldrums since long and badly needed cash injections for a turnaround. Raw material shortages have badly hit the country’s leather industry.

The grant is going to facilitate the hides-to-leather value chain, in which the government plans to set up three to four hubs, and the cotton-to-clothing chain, a newspaper in Zimbabwe quoted deputy minister of finance and economic planning Terrence Mukupe as saying.

The leather industry is operating below half of its capacity due to a gamut of challenges, primarily cash shortage, resulting in waning demand for leather products.

According to the Abattoirs Association of Zimbabwe, the leather sector has not recovered since the government introduced a levy on exports of raw hides to encourage value addition in 2014.

Since 2012, the country’s exports of leather products have been plunging. In 2014, Zimbabwe exported leather products worth $374,000, down from $591,000 in 2012.

Did you know……..

Dresses and skirts are commonly seen as women’s clothing in the West, but in other parts of the world, men wear them as frequently as women do.

More than 2 billion t-shirts are sold each year.

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