JEREMY THOMAS: Ebrahim Patel is out to remake the rag trade, but he will have to sew it together
SA lost hundreds of thousands of jobs to China, but local specialists are still thriving in little factories scattered across the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal
It will be fascinating to see what comes of Ebrahim Patel’s grand designs to revive traditional areas of SA manufacturing. The trade & industry minister will present a master plan on the clothing, textiles and footwear industry in September. Next on Patel’s list are the poultry, automotive, steel and sugar industries.
SA fashion retailers will be keen to see Patel stimulate a garment industry that, for all the damage done by Chinese imports and outsourcing by local firms to Chinese factories, still thrives in pockets — notably in the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.