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Textile industry raged over SABS's move of accrediting Chinese firm
Dec '10
The South African textile industry is fumed over the SA Bureau of Standards' (SABS) move of granting official approval to a Chinese firm.

Marcus Varoli, Chairman of Mediterranean Textile Mills said that, the SABS and the Department of Trade and Industry's (dti) move of granting the Chinese firm with a certificate of approval allowing it to export work wear fabric which is to be used in the mining industry, has destabilized their efforts to revitalize the textile industry in South Africa.

Bestowing a Chinese firm with SABS approval for its fabrics, would mean shifting the job opportunities from SA to China, thereby providing China with an enhanced opportunity to enter the South African markets, he said.

He added that the move would further prove to be detrimental for the sector, as the Chinese firms would then get an advantage over the domestic firms.

The country is confronted with severe unemployment issues which the Department of Trade and Industry, too, is aware about. The present move is totally opposed to what was discussed in 2009, when the country was considering giving production incentives. Also that, China has the advantage of low-priced labour and cheap fabric over SA, as fabric there costs R5 or R6 less per meter than in SA, Varoli said.

He, further, said that his company for the first time learnt about the Chinese firm's application to the SABS some six months back, after which it voiced its apprehension to the department.

Earlier it had been informed to the textile delegation that, a junior technician had committed an error and it being illegal, legal action had already been initiated against the same. The textile delegation had accepted the explanation given by the department earlier.

Later on, it has been revealed by the department that it is not possible for it to prevent SABS as it is a self-financed body, and that, if it wants to approach China for raising finance then it will do the same, Varoli said.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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