14 of 2024


                           Newsletter No 14/19 April 2024




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Ebrahim Patel a true product of Cosatu

By Zingiswa Losi

Minister of trade, industry & competition Ebrahim Patel. File photo. Image: Freddy Mavunda

Minister of trade, industry & competition has been an ally of workers

It’s natural to regard politicians with scepticism, more so after our painful experience of state capture. But it is equally important to provide a balanced perspective.

We have been fortunate as Cosatu to work with the minister for trade, industry & competition, Ebrahim Patel, from his days in the South African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (Sactwu) to his time in the cabinet.

While no politician is perfect, Patel has been an ally of workers, a champion of South African business and a fierce opponent of corruption.

He may make some uncomfortable when he encourages business to do more to address racial inequalities. He may offend importers when he asks them to support local industries, and he definitely irritates those wanting to loot the state. We expect nothing less.

An examination of Patel’s record shows a minister bringing together government, business and labour around a common agenda to grow the economy, slash unemployment, rebuild the state and tackle corruption.

Not long ago Langeberg & Ashton Canning, a food company, was in serious trouble. Patel intervened with TigerBrands to ensure the company was placed on a path to recovery, saving thousands of agricultural jobs in the Winelands.

This is a minister who knows and lives his portfolio, has brought stakeholders together, is showing real results, and is respected for his incorruptibility. One would think we would applaud such leaders

He has worked with industry to secure investment and create thousands of jobs, with Stellantis committing to open a car manufacturing plant — the first new car assembly plant in South Africa in nearly a decade. He also saved thousands of jobs in the poultry industry in Hammarsdale. For the affected workers and businesses these were uplifting stories.

When the government deals with corruption, it needs to step on some toes. Patel did this with the National Lottery Commission which had become notorious for brazen corruption, and he was pilloried for meddling. Today we see the fruits of his intervention with senior parties implicated in corruption dismissed, assets attached, and those implicated hauled before law enforcement.

No one had a map on how to manage Covid-19 and we had days to prepare for it. Patel worked with business and labour to put in place workstreams to rapidly produce masks, gloves, visors, screens, medical textiles, sanitisers and ventilators. Not only did this ensure we had sufficient stock to manage the pandemic, but jobs and factories were saved.

Critics are silent when consumers are pickpocketed and SMMEs are suffocated by monopolies. This is why the Competition Commission intervened when prices were manipulated for Covid tests, school uniforms, and data. The result of these interventions?  Lower prices for consumers: data fell from R149 per gig in 2019 to R85 in 2023 on one cellular network.

The motor industry has seen impressive increases in the export of locally produced vehicles from about 300,000 to well over 450,000 in 2022,  now nearing 500,000.  This means jobs for Gauteng, the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

Progressive laws have been processed: from the Competition Amendment Act (dealing with monopolies) to the Companies Amendment Bill, nudging large corporations to reduce the apartheid wage gap still prevalent in the banking, insurance, retail and mining sectors.

The recent geopolitical headwinds facing South Africa have been strong. Relations with the US, one of our largest trading partners, went through turbulence with several congressmen calling for South Africa’s removal from the African Growth and Opportunities Act (Agoa), through which billions of rands of our mineral, agricultural, vehicle and manufacturing exports enjoy preferential access.   Such a move would threaten thousands of jobs.

Patel, tasked by President Cyril Ramaphosa, led a high-level cabinet delegation, including   labour and business representatives, to Washington to stabilise relations. A few months later South Africa hosted the successful Agoa Forum. The conversation has moved from expelling South Africa from Agoa to how trade co-operation can be enhanced to support Africa and South Africa’s economic development.

Recently, a ground-breaking deal to tap into Saudi Arabia’s lucrative red meat import industry was forged, opening up a market of more than $2bn for South African farmers.

Patel grew up in the union movement, was raised by a clothing factory worker, a single mother in Grassy Park, to become Sactwu’s general secretary. We are proud of this son of Cosatu — not because we expect him to chant slogans but because of his relentless efforts to remove impediments to our economy. He has often challenged labour to identify ways to boost productivity.

What is most disappointing about attacks on Patel is that this is a minister who knows and lives his portfolio, has brought stakeholders together, is showing real results, and is respected for his incorruptibility. One would think we would applaud such leaders.

• Losi is president of Cosatu   









Fashion with lower environmental impacts: supply chain decarbonization and durability of textile products webinar

SGS, the testing, inspection and certification company, is hosting a webinar, ‘Fashion with lower environmental impacts: supply chain decarbonization and durability of textile products’, on 25 April 2024.

The fashion industry is regarded as a sector with a high environmental impact. Brands, retailers and suppliers are joining the transformation to circular and low-carbon fashion in response to government pressure and the need to remain competitive.

When implementing decarbonization roadmaps, the fashion industry faces several challenges associated with supply chain carbon management and reduction. Presenters Evelyn Ma and Dr Min Zhu will explore trends and strategies for carbon reduction and share case studies of decarbonization solutions for the whole supply chain, including target setting, training and quantification.

The EU is also concerned about the fashion industry, with a textile strategy that focuses on greater product durability to reduce the sector’s environmental footprint. In particular, France wants to work on specific topics and has suggested the introduction of a voluntary environmental labelling standard for textile products in 2024.

Presenter Valérie Cimetière will discuss the latest updates on Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (PEFCR) regarding durability and the new requirements for the environmental labelling of textile products in France. She will present details of the European project and the French framework, which will both lead to changes in textile environmental labelling in the coming years.

This event is aimed at senior management teams of brands and retailers, including sustainability/environmental health and safety/compliance managers, as well as supply chain partners.

Register: https://www.sgs.com/en/webinars/2024/04/fashion-supply-chains-the-road-to-decarbonization     S&V









Fashion designer, Roberto Cavalli dies aged 83

Source: https://www.reuters.com/

Italian designer Roberto Cavalli, renowned for his use of animal print and distressed denim, died in Florence, Italy, on 12 April 2024.

The fashion house that bears his name announced the death on Instagram but provided no details.




Company Profile:-  Fleeceytex Knitting 1989 (Pty) Ltd

Fleeceytex Knitting originally founded in 1985 and registered in 1989 is an owner managed mill situated in the south of Johannesburg and has been supplying customers in SA and neighboring countries for almost 40 years. With a diverse range of over thirty machines, both circular and flat, they have developed a product range of fine gauge knits through to heavier gauge trims and jersey panels.

The mill hasn’t forgotten its humble beginnings and is happy to supply the smaller customers with cut length fabric, sampling lengths, bespoke knits and dyelots as well as regular larger runs for the major chains and manufacturers. Fleeceytex has a large customer base of over twelve hundred customers who are regularly updated with specials and new developments.

They have a huge onsite warehouse which is geared to supply reasonable quantities of popular off-the-shelf fabrics in basic colours. Current fashion trends and colours are catered for on demand and the factory is always happy to assist with once-off orders coupled to a relatively short turnaround time.

Fleeceytex Knitting, knits and also imports an extensive range of knitted fabrics suitable for leisurewear, sportswear, school wear and promotional garments and are famed for their 100% Acrylic PDR (Ponti de Roma®) for which they own the trademark.

They pride themselves on quality, friendliness and customer service is their first priority.

For more information or to join their fun and informative mailing list: www.fleeceytex.co.za




Urgent Request from Boet Landman Upholsterers, Uitenhage

A supplier able to put a 15g LPDE Plastic Coating over Spunbond?

We need plastic coating over 4000 metres of material.

If you are able to assist please contact Elmarie Landman 041-992 1366 or 076 051 8481

or email elmarielandman1@gmail.com






59% of All Sustainability Claims by European Fashion Brands Are Inaccurate and Misleading

More often than not, environmental claims from fast fashion companies are nothing more than a marketing strategy, as a 2021 investigation by the Changing Market Foundation found. Having a sustainable clothing line does not automatically mean that the brand is eco-friendly. Greenwashing occurs when companies spend much more time and resources marketing their sustainability plans than actually executing them. Fashion giants promote misleading information to make consumers believe they are ethical or appear to value transparency by sharing






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