33 of 2018

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Newsletter No. 33                                                              31August 2018

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Proudly SA launches online shopping site

By Danette Breytenbach

Proudly South African (PSA) has created an e-shopping site www.rsamade.co.za, in partnership with RSA Made. The site launched in Auckland Park, Johannesburg to stakeholders including the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) and the media.

“The role of the PSA is to stimulate demand and to enhance the availability of quality products. This will enable us to take our rightful place in the world as the gateway to Africa. Let us be the place where people come when they look for locally made products,” says Eustace Mashimbye, CEO of Proudly South African.

It is part of overcoming the triple challenges of inequality, unemployment and poverty, he adds. “In 2002 the clothing, textile, leather and footwear industry boasted 200,000 jobs. In 2017 that number had been reduced to 90,000. In 1996 there were 1,600 manufacturing plants in the country, in 2016 there were only 900.”

“In South Africa, a job supports five to six people in this country, if not more,” he says.

Manufacturing has gone from contributing almost 21% of the GDP in 1994 to 12.4% in 2015. “This is because we started to buy goods made outside the country. In fact from 2002 to 2006 the country has seen an increase in imports of 400%,” he explains.

The PSA boasts 1,200 companies with 8,800 products. “We would like to have all of these on the site. We have to make this a success, but I am confident that we will not fail because of the quality of our members’ products,” he says.

PSA members’ products must be of a high quality, traded in a fair way and the majority of their content must be of local origin. “When these criteria come together it contributes to the wellbeing of the country,” says Howard Gabriels, Chairman of the board, PSA.

New ways of doing business

He says the site is a deliberate step to develop new ways of doing business in South Africa. “Today is a mark in the road for us. It is important for us and our members to be in the online space and in time this will become an acknowledged channel for their products.”

The platform already concentrates exclusively on South Africa made items, so it made perfect sense for it to partner with PSA says RSA Made’s CEO Karamba Jabbie. “We feel that we have found a perfect partner in Proudly South African. We are so excited to see the online shopping site being populated slowly, but surely.”

The site works on the same basis as any other online shopping store, with a simple product selection and check out sequence, with door to door delivery within 48 hours within the country’s borders. Delivery for purchases over R500 is free.

The site is the first of its kind in South Africa built to assist small, medium and even large local businesses to sell more using only South African suppliers and service providers.

7.5% wage hike for South African clothing industry workers

Workers in the clothing industry across South Africa will receive a 7.5 per cent wage increase, effective September 1, 2018. Workers in the non-metro areas will receive an additional 0.5 per cent in the form of greater employer contribution to the provident fund. This will benefit just over 60,000 clothing workers, employed in 745 factories nation-wide.

The agreement was reached under the auspices of the National Bargaining Council for the Clothing Manufacturing Industry of South Africa. Employers were represented by the Apparel and Textile Association of South Africa (ATASA), Eastern Province Clothing Manufacturers Association (EPCMA), South African Apparel Association (SAAA), South African Clothing Manufacturers Association (SACMA) and the Transvaal Clothing Manufacturers Association (TCMA). While the employees were represented by the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU), an affiliate of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU).

The final settlement involves a two-year agreement. The second year wage increase, beginning September 1, 2019, will be the Consumer Price Index (CPI) as at November 2018, plus an additional 1 per cent. In the event of CPI plus 1 per cent resulting in the total labour cost increase being less than the rand value increase for 2018, the adjustment shall be the rand value equivalent of the 2018 total labour cost increase. “This simply means that next year, our members will not receive a lower wage increase than what they will receive this year. Should the CPI plus 1 per cent for the second year exceed this, negotiations will be re-opened,” SACTWU said in a press release.

There was also an agreement that the scope of coverage of family responsibility leave will be broadened, and SACTWU members will receive an extra day’s paid annual leave.

The wage increase component alone, combined for all the workers, will mean a total cash amount injection of R250m ($17.5 million) into the domestic economy, over the next year F2F

Workers in South African nonwovens sector get 7.25% hike

Employees working in the nonwovens sub-sector of the South African textile industry will receive a 7.25 per cent wage hike back dated from July 1, 2018. The workers will also receive another 7.25 per cent wage hike beginning July 1, 2019, as per the two-year agreement reached under the auspices of the National Textile Bargaining Council (NTBC).

At the council meeting, the employers were represented by the National Textile Manufacturers’ Association (NTMA), while the workers were represented by the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU), which is an affiliate of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU). F2F

Ethiopia expects earining $200 m from textile garments

Ethiopia expects to earn $240 million in export taxes this fiscal from the textile and garments sector, which will receive more priority in foreign currency earnings. An agreement with the National Bank of Ethiopia and the Cyprus Development Bank will efficiently release foreign currency for transactions in the sector, said industry minister Bogale Feleke.

Textile and garment sector is considered one of the key industrial sectors prioritized by the government as a source of foreign currency earnings to offset current shortage in hard currency, according to an Ethiopian news agency report..

Around $110 million were secured by the export sector in the last fiscal that was only 46 per cent of the plan for the year.

Lower export earnings are attributed to lower exports, shortage of  cotton, lack of trained manpower and instability in some parts of the country, Bogale pointed out.

The Ethiopian Government has prepared a 15-year National Cotton Development Strategy to tackle cotton shortage, he added.

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Contact A. Carlsson   antje@ragtrade.co.za    082-3758307

Did you know……..

In the United States, each person owns an average of seven pairs of blue jeans. That’s one for every day of the week!

Men have been wearing shorts for decades, but women were only allowed to wear them in public after World War II. One of the main reasons for this was because less fabric was available during the war, so shorts were more cost-effective than pants or skirts.

The T-sjirt is one of the most popular items of clothing in the world, and around two billion of them are sold every single year.

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