THE Department of Trade and Industry is assessing the feasibility of creating a manufacturing hub exclusively for furniture makers.The hub, which forms part of the department’s recently launched Furniture Competitiveness Programme, aims to replicate the success achieved by the automotive sector in grouping manufacturers in industrial parks. It too would be strategically located to ensure manufacturers have access to infrastructure, building materials and technologies to enhance the productivity of small-to medium-sized enterprises."The hub will be an industrial area for furniture manufacturers only. We will bring in machinery, mentors and other incentives to make sure that we assist to up-skill manufacturers to increase their capacity and create jobs," the department’s Bongani Lukhele said.It will also fill the role of a post-incubation facility for graduates of Furntech — a state-affiliated organisation that runs an incubation programme for furniture manufacturers.Due to the labour...

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