47 of 2018

head           Newsletter No. 47                                                         7 December 2018

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Oprah steps out in Gert-Johan Coetzee at Global Citizen festival

Oprah with designer Gert-Johan Coetzee. (Pictures supplied)

Popular celebrity designer Gert-Johan Coetzee added an important global feather to his cap when Oprah Winfrey appeared on stage at the Global Citizen Festival on Sunday in a flowing sun-yellow silk kaftan he had created for her.

Winfrey addressed the crowd at FNB Stadium about the meaning of being a global citizen and mentioned the importance of community, of reaching out and making others feel cherished and less alone.

The festival brought a stellar cast of global A-list performers to Johannesburg, South Africa, to celebrate what would have been Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday.

“I always thought it was because Madiba was a citizen of the world, that he really got to see how the power of one leads to the empowerment of many,” Winfrey said.

The beloved talk-show host had visited Coetzee’s studio earlier in the week and had charmed the designer and his team with her humour, grace and kindness.

“It was such an honour to receive her, and to be given the opportunity to custom-make something really beautiful for her to wear,” says Coetzee. The kaftan was constructed from draped silk in a rich yellow, with a waistband decorated in traditional African hand-beading and Swarovski crystals.

Coetzee is no stranger to Winfrey’s South African interests, having mentored one of the students who had graduated from the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls as part of his bursary programme.

“I have always had wonderful, extremely professional experiences in my dealings with Ms Winfrey’s school, so it was a pleasure to meet her and see first-hand why OWLAG has such an edge of accomplishment,” said Coetzee. “We are looking forward to growing the relationship further.” IOL Lifestyle

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SACTWU welcomes the imminent introduction of the National Minimum Wage

The COSATU-affiliated Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) enthusiastically welcomes the imminent signing of the National Minimum Wage Act today.

The introduction of a National Minimum Wage (NMW) is a victory for many vulnerable workers: it will put more money in the pockets of millions of farm, domestic, retail, restaurant, hairdressing, forestry, furniture, cleaning and other vulnerable, exploited and impoverished workers. The minimum wage of R20 per hour will see the wages of between 4 and 6 million South Africans rise. The NMW will also benefit workers in the clothing, textile, footwear and leather (CTFL) industry, particularly some clothing workers in peri-urban areas and home-textiles workers who earn less than R20 per hour.

Since 2015 SACTWU has played a role in the negotiations at Nedlac and made submissions to Parliament to ensure that the NMW best serves the poorest workers. SACTWU also made several proposals on how to enforce the NMW and what the exemptions system should look like.

Although this wage is not yet a living wage, its positive impact will still help many millions of workers to better look after their families. By increasing their buying power, the NMW will also drive demand and stimulate the economy. This must be welcomed. Nevertheless we will continue to fight for a living wage for our members, using this NMW as a platform.

An important next step for government, business and labour should be to focus on an increase in the NMW as this R20 per hour level was agreed two years ago already.

Issued by Andre Kriel General Secretary SACTWU

For further comment contact SACTWU’s Bonita Loubser on 082 800 7142.

South Africa working on apparel-textile value chain masterplan

South Africa wants to develop a master plan for the growth of the apparel, textile, footwear and leather retail value chain, targeting creation of 60,000 jobs, according to trade and industry minister Rob Davies, who said his department is working with Justin Barnes, facilitator for the new automotive master plan till 2035, to come out with a similar plan.

The plan may be announced early next year, a report in a South African newspaper quoted the minister as saying on the sidelines of a function to launch the Toyota Wessels Institute for Manufacturing Studies in Durban. Barnes has been appointed executive director of the institute.

The extent of illicit trading happening in the textile and apparel sectors and new entrants and competitors make the challenges more complicated, Davies said.

He said the government had seen the impact of incentives for the clothing and textile retail value chain a few years ago when the incentive was changed to be based on competitiveness from being earned on the basis of exports, with the duty credits sold to importers of new clothes. F2F

Towards Automated Quality Control?

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has developed a fabric defect detection system that uses cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence. Here’s how.

An Eagle Eye Boasting Artificial Intelligence

Code name? WiseEye. And for good reason. The system that has just been developed by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) aims to spot the slightest flaw that could mar a freshly produced fabric. A form of automated quality control that stands out from its competitors through the ingenious integration of artificial intelligence, big data and deep learning directly into the weaving machines and looms.

With a 90% detection rate, this new equipment could considerably reduce losses and waste in the production of textiles by identifying and quickly fixing the problems highlighted.

Concentrated Technological Innovations

Technically speaking, this new-generation machine therefore represents a major technological innovation. “The system is embedded with a high-power LED light bar and a high-resolution camera. It is driven by an electronic motor and is mounted on a rail to capture images of the whole width of woven fabric during the weaving process,” explained Professor Calvin Wong, who oversees the research teams behind this extraordinary invention. “The captured images are pre-processed and fed into the AI-based machine vision algorithm. Real-time information gathered throughout the detection process will be sent to the computer system, and analytical statistics can be generated as and when needed,” he added.

Moreover, the PolyU research team is planning to fine-tune the system so that it can detect defects in fabrics with more complex patterns, such as stripes and checks, the ultimate aim being to cover all kinds of fabric in five years’ time. A development that is sure to win over major textile manufacturers worldwide.

Did you know……..

Lots of women have a problem with the fit of clothing on the high street – this is because they are designed for those between 5’4 and 5’8.

In the year 200, the Romans created different shoes for the left and right feet.

Eyeliner was discovered in the most unlikely of places – King Tutankhamun’s tomb! Since the 1920’s, it has been a very popular item in every woman’s makeup bag.

 

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