Home / Knowledge / News / Apparel/Garments / South African garment sector needs new approach to wages
South African garment sector needs new approach to wages
Feb '13
South African clothing industry needs to adopt a more differentiated approach to wage-setting that enforces basic standards of employment, but tolerates low wage if it can be supplemented with productivity-linked pay, according to a report written by the Professors of University of Cape Town,  Nicoli Nattrass and Jeremy Seekings for the Centre for Development and Enterprises (CDE).

Prof.  Nicoli Nattrass told fibre2fashion, “We need to drive out low wage and low productivity employment, in order to support higher wage and higher productivity forms of employment in South African garment manufacturing sector.”

Allowing low-wage producers will accommodate the needs of lower-skilled workers as well as the unemployed and poorer consumers who purchase basic clothing goods rather than the pricier, branded, fast fashion products, says the report.

South Africa’s clothing industry is currently in crisis, squeezed between rising wage costs and intensifying international competition.

“Under the guise of promoting ‘decent work’, clothing jobs are simply being exported to low-wage countries such as Lesotho and China by the South Africa’s labour-market institutions such as the South African Clothing and Textile Workers Union (SACTWU),” say the authors.

The report further says the vision of the SACTWU is that only decent jobs with relatively high productivity and high wage should exist in South Africa, and labor-market and industrial policies should prevent any low-wage, low-productivity production.

“The most labor-intensive firms, producing basic clothes for the mass market, have survived in South Africa by relocating to lower-wage regions,” the Professor mentions.

She explains, “The very existence of the rump of labor-intensive manufacturing in South Africa is now threatened by a compliance drive launched in 2010 by the National Bargaining Council for the Clothing Manufacturing Industry (NBC).”

“The NBC’s objective is to force all firms in the clothing industry to comply with the minimum wages agreed to in the Council by member employer associations and the SACTWU. This has serious implications for the prospects of labor-intensive growth in the industry and the country,” she says.

In the circumstances, a more differentiated approach to wage-setting is needed for the South African garment industry, the report concludes.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

Must ReadView All

Textiles | On 29th May 2017

Special package creates 7,50,000 jobs in garment sector

The special garment package of Rs 6,000 crore that was introduced by...

Md Siddiqur Rahman, president, BGMEA, addressing a press conference with other dignitaries. Courtesy: BGMEA

Apparel/Garments | On 29th May 2017

BGMEA asks govt for 5% incentive for 2 years in Budget

The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association...

Textiles | On 29th May 2017

Tintex, Bruckner bring new effects to knitted fabric

The textile company Tintex has joined hands with the system supplier...

Interviews View All

Akash Khetan
Narayan Tex Fab

I find it hard to find professionals in Surat

Karan Suratwala
Key Textile Accessories Private Limited

Chinese imports are destroying the supply chain

Neel Sawhney
One Friday

‘The share of kidswear segment in the online sector is still small in...

Marcel Alberts

Coating at a fibre level is a practice not usually seen in the...

Marten Alkhagen
Swerea IVF AB

Marten Alkhagen, Senior Scientist - Nonwoven and Technical Textiles of...

Johan Berlin
InvestKonsult Sweden AB

Investkonsult Sweden AB has been buying and selling second-hand textile...

Sanjukta Dutta
Sanjukta's Studio

<b>Sanjukta Dutta</b> creates unique garments by clubbing prints of...

Wendell Rodricks
Wendell Rodricks

"We should not compare India and the West. There are things we do that...

Silvia Venturini Fendi
Fendi s.r.l

"Yes, my confidence and positive attitude are my strengths and should be...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


Letter To Editor

(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies


news category

Related Categories:
May 2017

May 2017

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.


Browse Our Archives


E-News Insight
Subscribe Today and Get the
Latest News Update in Your Mail Box.
Advanced Search