Formed in 1975, Textile Federation of South Africa (Texfed) is the national body representing Textile Manufacturers for the apparel, household and industrial sectors of the downstream industry in the Country. Comprised of five Constituent Trade Associations namely: The South African Cotton Textile Manufacturers’ Association (SACTMA); The South African Worsted Manufacturers’ Trade Association (SAWMTA); The National Fabric Knitters’ Trade Association (NFKTA); The South African Technical Textile Manufacturers’ Association (SATTMA); and The Fibre Group, the Federation acts as secretariat to these associations. Its main focus areas are trade matters and legislative changes that benefit entire industry. Texfed represents the full complement of cotton, wool and worsted yarn and woven fabric textile manufacturers and about 70% of the fabric knitting mills in South Africa. Texfed has played a major role in dealing and influencing the many issues that have affected the industry both nationally and internationally over the past 30 years. Mr Abisha Tembo is the President of Texfed since 2007. Born 9, September, Mr Tembo holds a postgraduate degree in Textile Science from the University of Leeds in UK. Mr Tembo is also the Area Manager of CSIR MSM- Fibres and Textile Competence. Recently, he has also been appointed as Chemin’s new Chairman of the Board at the last AGM meeting held in September 2008. He has over 20 years experience in executive positions. In a one-to-one conversation with Face2Face team, Mr Abisha Tembo draws the larger picture of South African Textile and Clothing industry.
Can we begin with the profile assigned to the Texfed in the wellbeing of South African textile industry? What all services it renders?
The objectives of the Texfed are:-
To promote the development and well-being of the Textile Industry in South Africa in the interests of its members and of the country as a whole
To collate and disseminate information, statistics and other data which relate to or affect the South African Textile Industry and make such information available to members and where appropriate to use the information in the interests of the Industry
Where is your country’s textile and clothing industry heading to? What significance it assumes in your country’s economy?
The textile industry was identified as one of the economic growth drivers in the country due to its ability to create employment but it has been going through a tough time in the global village due to cheap imports which have been flooding the local market since the opening up of the market after 1994 when the country came out of the closed and isolated economy due to the political situation changes.
SADC Free Trade Agreement has taken-off its full operations in this year. What are your comments on its success in conformity to its rationale, and how has it benefited your industry?
We have not seen any benefits from the SADC Free Trade Agreement as the agreement will be seen to favour other SADC countries to export to South Africa.
DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.