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South Africa: Help on Way for Cape's Tattered Clothing Sector

Published date:
Wednesday, 17 August 2005

Western Cape's ailing textile industry will see a range of programmes introduced to save it from demise, Finance and Tourism MEC Lynne Brown announced yesterday.

Twenty-six clothing firms have folded in a year in the province, resulting in 2300 job losses.

One such programme will be to set up a sector-cluster programme that will promote efficiencies within and between different companies.

Brown said research had been conducted into the industry to see what could save it from "doom".

Another proposal is to provide incentives for smaller firms over a "period of about three years".

Brown said that although the industry may be in the doldrums at the moment, "not all is lost".

She said there was a need for the industry to establish new niche markets. The provincial government had realised this and that was why it included the clothing and textile sector among the 13 sectors earmarked for support in the province's microeconomic development strategy, Brown said.

"Unless there is substantial upgrading of skills and equipment, improvements in manufacturing processes and an increased focus on exports, we as government are convinced that this sector will only be left with a few factories in Western Cape over the short to medium term," she said.

The research also proposed that the provincial government set up various programmes to increase the competitiveness of the sector.

These included the establishment of a clothing and textiles information hub on export and market intelligence.

She said clothing firms in the province needed to become more design-orientated as well as to focus on servicing the upper end of the retail market.

“AGOA Latest AGOA Trade Data currently available on

Click here to view a sector profile of South Africa’s bilateral trade with the United States, disaggregated by total exports and imports, AGOA exports and GSP exports.

Other regularly updated trade statistics on include: (click each link to view)

  • AGOA-Beneficiary Countries’ AGOA and GSP Trade Aggregates

  • AGOA Trade by Industry Sector

  • Apparel Trade under AGOA’s Wearing Apparel Provisions

  • Latest Apparel Quotas under AGOA

  • Bilateral Trade Data for all AGOA-eligible countries individually.

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