The South African government has named leather and footwear products among sectors it wants to specifically focus support on during the covid-19 pandemic, reports Leatherbiz.
The Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Fikile Majola (pictured), said the retail clothing, textile, footwear and leather (R-CTFL) industry has been identified as critical to driving the economy.
Mr Majola said: “Government is committed to reviving the sector, as it focuses on rebuilding manufacturing and to enable it to expand its capacity. We are working towards significantly reducing illegal imports to eliminate unfair competition against local retailers and manufacturers.”
The support includes ensuring adherence to procurement regulations and issuing of timely orders, matching of demand and supply, sourcing and ensuring availability of raw material in South Africa.
The value chain’s total gross domestic product contribution is R74 billion (£3.3 billion).
The R-CTFL Master Plan was signed in November 2019 with seven commitments. These included growing the local market, driving local sourcing, ending illegal imports and value chain transformation.
During the pandemic, specific focus has been placed on intensifying support for products such as surgical and consumer masks, respirators, medical textiles, leather and footwear products, and gloves.