The clothing industry : hidden opportunity for the Western Cape?

Hayes, James (2001-12)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2001.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In the past the textile and clothing industry was a protected industry that was driven by import substitution. The retail market was driven by the manufacturers - customers could only buy what the market offered. Products were priced according to local competition and local input costs. After the liberalisation of South Africa's trade, the whole scenario changed - not only was the industry driven by the consumer, but the industry suddenly had to compete on a global basis and input costs - specially labour, increased substantially. The above, together with other structural changes, posed a tremendous challenge to companies in this industry, and a substantial number could not meet these challenges effectively. This gave rise to a new partner in this industry - the informal clothing manufacturing industry. In order to survive and compete globally, manufacturers had to equal or better international competitors and find their specific markets. The above implied that the following issues had to be addressed: • Backlog on capital spending • Increase in productivity • Increasing quality • Sourcing cheaper raw materials of high quality • Funding • Focusing on niche markets • Implementing best practises according to international standards • Utilising the depreciation of the local currency. Unfortunately, a large number of local companies were not able to adapt due to: • Absence of management skills • Inability to fund the period of change • Lack and deterioration of market • Lack of critical mass in terms of volume. At present, a large number of the companies have successfully adapted and are profitable. The future of the textile and clothing industry does not look bleak at all, and exciting growth and employment opportunities exist, given that the following issues can be addressed: • The cost of labour, especially with regards to the HIV/AIDS issue. • Addressing the standard of management. • Creating and implementing a unified strategy with strategic alliances under strong leadership. • Utilising the new global trade opportunities. It is the contention of the writer that the Western Cape will see a tremendous growth in the Textile and Clothing Industry within the near future. International relocation to South Africa may take place due to favourable export opportunities offered. The demographic qualities of the Western Cape exceed that of other regions in South Africa - particularly regarding HIV/AIDS and education.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In die verlede is die klere en tekstiel industrie grootliks gekenmerk deur invoer vervanging. Die verbruikers se keuse in die mark was grootliks bepaal deur die produsente. Pryse was 'n funksie van die plaaslike kompetisie en vervaardigingskoste. Na die liberalisering van die Suid Afrikaanse ekonomie het die situasie drasties verander. Die mark word nou bepaal deur die verbruiker, en die industrie moes in 'n internasionale mark kompeteer. In dieselfde tyd het die koste van arbeid ook dramaties toegeneem - een van die groot inset kostes in die bedryf. Bogenoemde en ander strukturele veranderinge het uitdagings aan die plaaslike industrie daargestel wat nie deur 'n groot aantal plaaslike deelnemers effektief aangespreek kon word nie. Dit het aanleiding gegee tot die groei van die informele sektor in die nywerheid. Ten einde winsgewend te wees in die internasionale arena en te oorleef moes vervaardigers spesifieke markte identifiseer en spesialiseer. Maatskappye is genoop om die volgende aspekte as 'n saak van oorlewing aan te spreek: • Die herinvestering ten opsigte van verouderde vervaardigings toerusting • Verbetering van produktiwiteit en kwaliteit • Verkryging van bekostigbare hoë kwaliteit materiaal • Investering • Spesialis en niche markte • Implimentering van wereldklas vervaardigings standaarde • Strategiese positionering ten opsigte van die verswakking van die rand wisselkoers Ongelukkig was 'n groot aantal plaaslike maatskappye nie in staat om aan te pas nie. Dit kon hoofsaaklik toegeskryf word aan die volgende: • Gebrek aan bestuursvernuf • Onvermoë om die oorgangsfase te befonds • Gebrek aan toepaslike markte • Onvoldoende omset ten einde kritieke volumes te behaal • Strukturele koste samestelling Tans is daar uiters suksesvolle en winsgewende maatskappye in die klere en tekstiel bedryf. Die toekoms van die bedryf in Suid Afrika is nie duister nie. Geleentheid vir groei en indiensneming bestaan, mits die volgende aspekte doeltreffend aangespreek kan word: • Die koste van arbeid, veral met betrekking tot die addisionele koste impliasie van HIV/VIGS • Bestuurskundigheid • Die effektiewe beplanning en uitvoering van 'n unitêre strategie wat alle betrokke partye in die industrie betrek • Die ontsluiting van nuwe wêreld handelsgeleenthede Dit is die skrywer se opinie dat die Weskaap 'n groei in die bedryf sal beleef. Oorsese maatskappye mag vervaardigingsfasiliteite in Suid Afrika hervestig as gevolg van die gunstige uitvoer geleenthede wat Suid Afrika bied. Die demografiese kwaliteit van die Weskaap is beter as die res van Suid Afrika - veral wat betref opvoeding en die voorkoms van HIV/VIGS.

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