Earlier this year, Wunderman Thompson SA announced the appointment of Tshego Tshukutswane to its executive team as group chief strategy officer. Tshukutswane joined this month succeeding Moagi Bodibe, who has taken up independent consulting.ByJessica Tennant
While StatsSA's latest figures show retail trade falling 3.5% year-on-year from 2019 to 2020, continuing a 10-month downward spiral, South Africa's retailers are starting to show signs of adapting to the needs of the changing market.
Local clothing manufacturing businesses across Cape Town are launching an online development programme that is being supported with funding from the City of Cape Town. The programme is focused on helping companies create first-line managers who will drive productivity, create stability and harness innovation.
Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, Alderman James Vos, was invited to visit some of these businesses along with officials from the City’s Enterprise and Investment Department.
Vos visited Pep Clothing in Parow, the largest clothing manufacturer in South Africa; ACA Threads in Brackenfell, Southern Africa’s leading thread manufacturer; Performance Brands in Lansdowne, manufacturers of high-quality outdoor and technical sportswear; as well as Rogz in Montague Gardens, which exports pet products made in Cape Town to over 90 countries worldwide.
"Collectively, these four manufacturers employ over 2,500 Capetonians and I was impressed to hear how some of these companies even managed to employ additional residents during the course of last year," said Vos.
The City supports 22 clothing and textile manufacturers via one of its Strategic Business Partners (SBP), the Cape Clothing and Textile Cluster (CCTC). This partnership is aimed at boosting the competitiveness of the local clothing, textile, footwear and leather (CTFL) manufacturing industry.
The City said it provides funding to SBPs in order to actively seek out opportunities to grow the local economy by attracting investment and create jobs.
Team Leader Development Programme
Vos commented, "I am pleased to confirm that in the next month, the CCTC is launching the online Team Leader Development Programme to help companies create first-line managers who will drive productivity, create stability and harness innovation. The City has provided support for 20 learners to complete the four-month course and the cluster aims to train at least 50 learners over the next six months.
"I am immensely proud of our partnership with the CCTC, especially how we were able to provide support to the industry through the various levels of lockdown. Over the last couple of weeks, I have seen first-hand how this support has resulted in the retention of jobs and embracing innovation to take advantage of new opportunities."
Beyond recovery to sustainable growth
In 2020, throughout the pandemic, CCTC members were supported through an online risk mitigation and recovery support programme, which enabled them to quickly understand and adopt best practices, work safer and recover faster. With the support of the CoCT, the CCTC is guiding members beyond recovery to sustainable growth. Key to this is the cluster’s market-led industry support strategy, in which major retailers are part of the conversation and provide a clear commercial link to manufacturing upgrading initiatives.
"The City of Cape Town also partners with the Craft and Design Institute (CDI) and recently launched the Cape Skills and Employment Accelerator project, which is focused on creating employment opportunities for youth and women in the clothing and textile industry in Cape Town over the next three years. The project will enable SMMEs to take on machinists at a greatly reduced cost to their business while creating learning and work opportunities for unemployed women," explained Vos.
"Through our strategic partnerships, I aim to help this important sector to boost production, attract the investment it needs to create more jobs and thrive," he concluded.
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