13 August 2019 - Statement by the city's mayoral committee member for economic opportunities and asset management, Alderman James Vos (Visiting us were Alderman Grant Twigg (Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Management), Robin Jutzen: (Principal Catalytic Sectors Officer: Enterprise and Investment), Timothy Hadingham: (Manager: Investment Facilitation: Enterprise and Investment) with Eckhard Marshing (CEO – ACA Threads).
Following my recent visits to several clothing and textile companies, I am pleased to announce the City's plans to support this industry with training and skills development. My engagements have provided positive market insights and offered tangible economic development opportunities.
The issues we are considering are:
· to increase local retail procurement from local manufacturers as the most effective way to revitalise and sustain the industry
· to ensure that the development of skills throughout the value chain is prioritised
· to conduct a local skills audit to determine where the gaps lie
· to improve the value proposition of local manufacturing firms to win and retain local retail business
· to look to Africa for niche export opportunities
· to place more emphasis on design and innovation
· to develop better products and services and;
· to foster better cooperation and value chain alignment.
Cape Town traditionally had a comparative advantage in clothing and textiles and the sector continues to employ 24 734 people, with a recorded export value of more than R3,5 billion in 2018 which means investing in this sector makes business sense.
Last week I conducted site visits to two industry giants, ACA Threads in Brackenfell and TCI Apparel in Epping. Joining me on these site visits were the local ward councillors, Alderman Grant Twigg and Councillor Charles Esau. Both councillors represented their relevant wards as these companies offer massive employment to local communities.
My priority is to work with the sectors that drive demand and makes business sense. Therefore I am confident that our approach to delivering a skills pipeline for the clothing and textile industry will help position this sector as part of our City's economic opportunity agenda.
Another purpose of these industry site visits is to develop a better understanding directly from business owners on the opportunities and challenges facing the industry, while identifying constraints to growth and how we as a City government can assist. It is important to grow this sector but also to sustain its contribution to employment and the economy.
Both ACA Threads and TCI Apparel are firms that exemplify a commitment to quick response principles and innovation, providing roughly between 100 and 3 300 jobs respectively. Their success helps position Cape Town as South Africa’s premier clothing and textile hub.
The City will continue hosting regular sessions with key role players in the industry to collaborate on growth opportunities, while at the same time identifying blockages with industries to find ways to resolve it.
In addition, the Directorate also provides funding to the following special purpose vehicles within this sector:
Cape Town Fashion Council
Western Cape Clothing and Textile Service Centre (CLOTEX)
Craft and Design Institute (CDI)
Cape Clothing and Textile Cluster
Funding is used for programmes that include training, skills development, internship training and placement and sector coordination and promotion. I am excited to put the right level of priority and impetus behind this vibrant sector.