The South African Clothing and Textile Workers Union (SACTWU) has welcomed the call to South Africans by President Cyril Ramaphosa to buy local products. The clothing and textile industry is one of many in the country that suffered major job and revenue losses due to cheap imports.
Showing off his suit, the President said it was made at a factory in Cape Town. The President’s message was clear, encouraging all to buy local.
“The suit that I’m wearing today, the tie that I’m wearing today, the shirt that I’m wearing today; now this suit was locally made by South Africa textile workers working at the House of Monatic, here in Salt River in Cape Town.”
The House of Monatic was established 112 years ago. Situated in Salt River in the Mother City, the factory gives employment to 550 people. The President chose a ‘super-110-yarn-wool-rich suit’ off the rail.
Utterly thrilled by how well the suit fitted with only minor alterations, the factory’s Chairperson, Fred Robertson, says it cost a fraction of an imported suit but is of the highest quality.
“We had so many calls and sms’s, people were overwhelmed that we could actually get a mention like this. The employers were excited all over. I mean, it’s really remarkable what just a few words can do to bring about positivity into the market place.”
SACTWU says misconceptions about the quality and price of locally made clothes and textiles should come to an end. Union General Secretary, Andrè Kriel, says the country produces garments of a global standard that anyone can buy with pride.
“One clothing job supports five family dependents and about 80% of the industry is women workers from the poorest parts of the country. That’s a big picture issue; the effect of buying local is that it safeguards jobs, it generates more production on the factory floor and it causes better employment.”
Proudly South African says the President is leading by example and if South Africans make the conscious decision to buy local, it could help drive job creation.