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27 July 2012 | Kamalpreet Badasha
The Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers' Union (SACTWU) has welcomed the South African government’s instructions requiring public buyers to source clothing and footwear locally.
The regulatory note explained raw materials used in the manufacture of textiles, clothing, leather and footwear, as well as the goods themselves, must be sourced locally. If the materials are not available locally, tender authors must obtain written permission from the Department of Trade and Industry before sourcing materials from elsewhere.
“The implementation of these regulations is a boost for local jobs in the domestic clothing, textile, footwear and leather industry because it now directs millions of state and state-owned enterprise spending towards local manufacturing,” said Andre Kriel, general secretary at the trade union.
“This means that when the post office buys uniforms, it will have to buy it from a local clothing manufacturer, who has sourced its inputs made in a local weaving mill. Or if the armed forces buys boots, the leather uppers to those boots will have to come from a local footwear manufacturer who has sourced its inputs from a local tannery.”
Textiles was one of the commodities highlighted in the first wave of domestic procurement targets, under the preferential procurement regulations which came into force in December 2011.