Each sector has its story and some pivotal moments in its history: for textiles, one such moment was the 1967 mass removal of women and children from Middelburg to what became Dimbaza, a former textiles hub in what is now the Eastern Cape.

This led to the birth of large-scale subsidies, tax rebates and protectionist policies which — 20 years later — ultimately compromised the sector’s ability to compete effectively when SA became a signatory to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

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