Home Press Releases Archived 2007 Fashion Imbizo hears positive news on China quota
Fashion Imbizo hears positive news on China quota PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 17 April 2007 13:54


Press release: Immediate

At a session of the Fashion Imbizo today, with fashion models and designers showing off their latest creations, union head Mr Ebrahim Patel presented evidence of early success with government's quota on Chinese products.

Trade statistics show a sharp decline in January 2007 (the latest date for which data in available) in clothing imports from China and the rest of the world. During January, the year on year imports of clothing declined by about 40% in US $ terms. This follows on a significant rise in import levels every January for the past four years.

“These initial indications show a real drop in imports and this is good news for local manufacturing and for jobs,” Mr Patel said at the Imbizo, which launched the Cape Town Fashion Festival for 2007.

Mr Patel presented details of innovative agreements on quotas reached between the SA Clothing and Textile Workers Union (SACTWU) and three retailers and one brand-owner. The agreements involve union support for applications for extra quota in return for clear commitments to source locally for a five-year period, with provisions to promote competitiveness in manufacturing, improve training of workers and foster fair labour standards.

The agreements were reached with Pepkor, Woolworths, Foschini and Adidas. Recent government amendments to the quota regulations were aimed at facilitating the agreements and introducing flexibility in the administration of the quotas.

“These agreements have allowed us to leverage a two-year quota agreement into a voluntary five-year local supplier commitment by major retailers,” said Mr Patel today.

“The China quota agreement is of short-term duration, and we need to use the space to restructure the industry to be more globally competitive through its product innovation, focus on quality, quick turnaround times and production efficiencies. We are very positive about the partnership with the retailers who have chosen to work with government and labour”, Mr Patel said.

The Fashion Imbizo included a formal signing of a partnership agreement between Pepkor and SACTWU. In terms of the Agreement, Pepkor (which owns Ackermans, Pep Stores and Dunn's) committed to work with the union to rebuild the local manufacturing industry. Pepkor, which has its own manufacturing facility in Cape Town employing 1970 workers, agreed to increase employment by at least 15% with 285 new workers to be recruited during 2007. It undertook to work towards growing employment by a further 345 workers, which, if successful, would see its manufacturing employment go up by 32% to 2600 workers.

The Fashion Imbizo heard of the rapid growth of House of Monatic, which almost doubled its employment to about 1 900 workers through new employment, absorbing retrenched workers from Rex Trueform and company acquisitions, making it one of the country's largest and fastest-growing BEE companies in manufacturing.

The Cape Town Fashion Festival Imbizo was addressed by speakers from government, retail, labour and manufacturing. The Premier of the Western Cape , Mr Ebrahim Rasool concluded the Imbizo. Mr Itumeleng Masege, head of ITAC, the trade regulating body and Mr Iqbal Sharma, Deputy DG of the DTI spoke at the meeting. The business speakers were Mr Kobus Pienaar and Marthie Kemp van der Werf from Pepkor, Ms Tanya Cohen from Woolworths and Mr Mustaq Brey from Brimstone, which owns House of Monatic.

A number of local designers showcased their latest ranges. These included Craig Native, Amanda Laird Cherry, Hip Hop, Craig Port , House of Monatic, JBS, Ruby and Sonwabile Ndamase.

The Fashion Imbizo is an event, and a brand name, of the Cape Town Fashion Festival

The Cape Town Fashion Festival is sponsored by Proudly SA, the Western Cape Province , City of Cape Town , the CTFL SETA and W&R SETA. It is co-sponsored by Sanlam, Old Mutual Properties, Liberty and the V&A Waterfront.

Some key forthcoming events of the Festival include:

Fashion at Cavendish Square on 26 April

  • Fashion Night on 27 April at which Minister of Finance, Mr Trevor Manuel will hand out a number of Fashion Awards and Freshly Ground will perform
  • City Catwalk which will take place on 1 May in the City Gardens, with fashion shows and music from Jamali
  • Spring Queen Pageant in mid November

The Township Fashion event was held at the Liberty Promenade on 14 April, at which thousands of Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha residents saw the hot creations of nine designers.



Press release issued by SA Clothing and Textile Workers Union (SACTWU) Ph 021-4474570. For more details, contact Mr Etienne Vlok at the above number.