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South African govt issues note for buying local textiles

Aug '12
The National Treasury of South Africa has released an instruction note directing all Government departments and state-run enterprises to procure their textile and clothing requirements from domestic producers.
The issuance of the instruction note, which is being acclaimed as a lifeline for the textile industry which is struggling for existence, follows the preferential procurement guidelines relating to Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act that become effective from December 7, 2011. 
The Department of Trade and Industry as well as the Department of Economic Development promoted the guidelines to rescue the ailing South African textile and apparel industry.
As per the new guidelines, municipalities and Government departments like SAPS, the Department of Defence, the SA Post Office, Eskom, the Department of Health, Transnet and Airports Company South Africa will have to procure their uniforms locally. It would include procurement of trousers, shirts, overalls, hospital linen, caps and other products made by local textile and clothing firms.
Following issuance of the direction, accounting officers from Government departments, state-run enterprises and municipalities would be forced to advertise procurement in the sector with bidding conditions stipulating that only domestically manufactured goods satisfying pre-determined limits for local production and content would be considered.
Also, all procurement documents need to be accompanied by the bidder’s declaration certificates for domestic manufacturing and content.
The stipulated minimum limit for local production and content for the textile and clothing sector is 100 percent, the Department of Trade and Industry noted.
The enterprises operating in the textile and garment sector said implementation of the local content regulation would boost their business.
Over the past few years, several factories in South Africa’s textile and clothing sector closed down, resulting in large-scale unemployment. During the first half of the current year, two firms – Seardel and Trubok – announced plans to cut about 1,900 jobs, due to contracting margins.
Apparel Manufacturers of South Africa (Amsa) Executive Director Johann Baard welcomed the Government’s move to buy locally-made textile and clothing items, but said the step was unlikely to protect the domestic industry against cheap imports from countries outside South Africa. 
The Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) said the direction issued by the Government was a big step towards ensuring implementation of the local procurement regulation.
According to SACTWU’s General Secretary Andre Kriel, implementation of the regulations would provide a great boost to local jobs in the textile and clothing industry as it now ensures large-scale inflow of funds from the state to the sector.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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