Pretoria — The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) has approved R4.9 billion for the clothing and textile sector to create and save jobs.
Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said the dti, through the Production Incentives Programme (PIP) within the Clothing and Textiles Competitiveness Programme (CTCP), approved R4.9 billion to create and save jobs in the sector.
In addition, more than R3.1 billion was disbursed until the last financial year, said Minister Davies, who was speaking at the first Clothing Manufacturing Industry Sector Summit hosted in Durban by the National Bargaining Council for the Clothing Manufacturing Industry (NBCCMI).
Throughout the sector, a number of companies which qualified and drew from both programmes, were able to save 81 252 jobs. An additional 9 672 jobs were created and the net new jobs grew by 4 785 until the last financial year from the inception of the CTCP.
Minister Davies said this was an indication that the clothing sector and others are significantly labour-absorbing sectors and that government needs to create more opportunities to keep it sustainable.
"The issue of rebates in the clothing and textile sector is still a burning issue... and part of government's plan is still to tighten control of imports and the raising of tariffs to the maximum boundary, like we did in the beginning when we were revamping the whole industry. The whole value chain must still be involved in the sector going forward," said Minister Davies
The Minister reiterated that localisation in every sector will no longer be an option.
"Whatever is needed to be done to protect the industry, it must be done but it should be in the interest of industry development and to improve the local supplier base. We want to see consequences for those who do not want to implement localisation and empowerment," he said.