Employment levels in the clothing, textile, footwear and leather (CTFL) sectors in South Africa have increased, according to the quarterly employment survey (QES.)
Following a few years of job losses, the CTFL industry in South Africa had started to witness stability in the industry last year. According to data from the latest QES for Q1 2015, there has been a YoY increase of 1.5% in the number of employees across the CTFL industry from March 2014 to March 2015. In absolute numbers, CTFL employees increased from 87,386 to 88,657.
In the 12-month period, the highest increase in the number of employees was in the leather sector, which saw employees increase by 4.5%. In second place was the footwear sector where employment rose by 3.3%, followed by the textile sector which has 1.5% more employees. The clothing sector followed last with an increase of 0.8% in its employees.
On a quarter-on-quarter basis, the CTLF industry saw a 1.5% increase in the number of employees from December 2014 to March 2015. The highest quarterly increase was in the leather sector, which went up 3.9%. Next was the textile sector, which rose by 2.9%, followed by the clothing sector which increased by 1.5%. The footwear sector registered a decline in the number of employed by 3.8% over the last quarter.
Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers’ Union hailed the development in a statement, calling it an endorsement of the government’s support for the industry and its own campaign increasing for jobs in the industry.
Michael van Wyk, lead partner at Deloitte, said, “The employment increase could be a result of a number of factors relating to government, global economy and the private sector. Over the past few years, there have been initiatives and incentives driven by government (DTI) to assist in driving the competitiveness of the South Africa manufacturing and textiles industries. These programmes aimed at building and improving capacity, quality and competitiveness in textile related industries/sectors.”
“In addition to this, the decreasing value of the rand creates a bit of breathing space for local manufacturers and imports become more expensive in Rand terms – it is however NB that local manufacturers should not develop business models based on a declining exchange rate – we need to become globally competitive, based on cost, quality and reliability of supply chain.”
“I think there has been a certain amount of consolidation in some sectors of the textile industry, which does make those left, a little bit stronger in terms of scale and ability to negotiate,” van Wyk added.
By: Kristy Jooste