South Africa: Dti, Furniture Industry to Conduct Workshops

The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) in partnership with the South African Furniture Initiative, is set to conduct workshops with key stakeholders across the furniture industry value-chain, in five provinces.

This, according to the department, is to obtain their views as part of the process that the department has embarked on to develop the country's Furniture Industry Masterplan.

The purpose of the master plan is to grow and protect the South African furniture industry, as well as to promote industrial development in the sector.

The workshops will be held in the Western Cape, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Gauteng from 28 January - 6 February 2020.

Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Nomalungelo Gina says the furniture industry is a significant sector for South Africa with the potential to create jobs, contribute to exports, and the development of Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs).

"The Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) identifies the furniture industry as an important sector in the South African economy, in terms of labour-intensity and potential for the development of SMMEs, and improved export capability.

"The industry employs approximately 26 000 people and contributes about 1% to the manufacturing Gross Domestic Product and 1.1% to manufacturing employment," Gina said.

Gina said the dti conducted preliminary research on the current state of the South African furniture industry, including new opportunities for growth, and constraints.

The department also consulted numerous stakeholders to solicit their views. The findings of the preliminary research will be presented at the workshops in order to get inputs from stakeholders in various provinces.

The Master Plan approach has been used in several other sectors as a collaboration between industry, labour and government to develop a vision for the industry, identify blockages and constraints and develop a set of key actions that need to be taken forward over the short and medium term.

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