Pretoria — The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) has commended the South African crafts companies exhibiting at the 32nd India International Trade Fair, saying they have done exceptionally well for themselves and the country.
The dti said most of the 33 crafters had recorded unexpectedly high volumes of sales, despite the fact that the exhibition had not yet opened to the general public on Friday.
Businesswoman Julia Kunstler from Randburg is among the crafters whose business has been well received at the trade fair in New Delhi.
"The first stock of products I packed before the exhibition began was sold out on the first day and I had to pack more stock. I brought 30 boxes of hand-painted ceramic products weighing 500kg. My dinner sets are more popular with the people who are visiting my stand," said Kunstler.
Cilo Mdagane of Sebokeng, Gauteng, said four of his most expensive wire classic cars were sold in the first two days. Mdagane was not apprehensive about the possibility of running out of stock well before the gates of the fair are closed on November 27.
He works at the stand during the day, putting beads on the wire cars on the rare occasions that his stand does not have visitors. He does more of this in the evening to make sure that he has more stock for the duration of the exhibition.
KwaZulu-Natal's Jabulani Mhlambini doubted if he would have sufficient stock to last him to the end of the show, as a businessman came to his stand on the first day and took a sizeable number of his ceramic dishes, bowls and trays.
Grace Ngobeni of Limpopo said her traditional beaded dolls, necklaces and bags caught the imagination of the visitors who cleaned out her first batch of stock.
"Fortunately, I brought enough stock and have managed to replenish my stand," said Ngobeni.
Aaron Ndaba of Riverlea, Gauteng, said more than 75 of his pendants, which are made of polyester thread, were sold in the first two days of the exhibition.
"I have also been fortunate that instead of worrying about returning home with unsold stock, I have clinched a deal with one of the visitors who will come here on the penultimate day of the fair and buy all of the stock that will be left by then," said Ndaba.
The South African exhibitors said they were happy to make good sales at the exhibition, even though their major objective was to get big and long-term orders which would see their travel to India impact positively on their hometowns in South Africa by creating jobs for the people who will be required to service the orders.
The South African pavilion at the fair was officially opened by the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Elizabeth Thabethe, on Wednesday. The fair runs until November 27.