Transforming the Cape's textile industry

The largest manufacturing industry in the Western Cape province is the clothing and textile industry, with recent figures indicating that over 170 000 people are employed in the sector.

The textile industry has been under pressure in the last few years due to competition with cheaper Eastern producers, such as China.

In December, the SA Clothing Research Institute revealed that since 2012, between October and the end of December, 36 clothing and textiles factories had closed down nationally, with 20 of the 36 liquidated companies coming from the Western Cape and leaving approximately 1 500 workers out of a job.

But we are now also seeing that there is a shift in our way of thinking, and adapting the clothing sector to better suit our market.

The Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) is currently holding free workshops for SMMEs in the clothing and textiles sector, at its various campuses.

This is being done through the Technology Station - Clothing and Textiles, managed by Shamil Isaacs. The concept was initiated a few years ago by the Department of Science and Technology, and set up at a number of tertiary institutions.

Some of the workshops being offered include: productivity improvement, testing awareness, introduction to garment costing and improving garment quality.

Listen to Kieno Kammies' interview with Shamil Isaacs below:

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