Increasing South Africa's contribution to global trade in craft

Sugee, Nadia (2008-12)

Thesis (MBA (Business Management))--Stellenbosch University, 2008.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study proposes to deal with the challenge of getting craft products efficiently and sustainably to the market.The objective of the study is to suggest an integrated framework for interventions led by the state to ensure that the right products reach the right markets at the right price at the right time, thus ensuring that South Africa's contribution to global trade is increased. The South African Government has recognized the importance of the craft sector from the onset of democracy and has developed a number of policies to ensure its growth and development. These policies range from the economic to cultural to social dimensions. The thesis has largely focused on the economic aspects of these policies. Key amongst these is the Customised Sector Programme (CSP) for Craft, developed by the DTI since it focuses on strategies aimed at commercialising the sector. According to the CSP, South Africa's comparative global advantage and strategic positioning lies with its very strong design and innovation skill; its strong global reputation; combined with a relatively sophisticated communication and IT industry and well established infrastructure and logistics environment. However, SA contributes just less than 1 % of global trade in craft because of a number substantive issues constraining it. These include amongst others: • a weak skills base on the manufacturing enterprise side • high and uncompetitive product prices • poor ability to capitalise on market opportunity • lack of research and development • lack of reliable national sector profile data and up-to-date market intelligence. There are many government departments and entities that currently support the craft sector. They have different objectives and approaches ranging from enterprise support and economic development to social, welfare and cultural support. These objectives and approaches have been translated into a number of programmes. These programmes essentially function as separate units and do not necessarily tie up in creating a continuum of support to ensure the development of globally competitive craft enterprises. The Cape Craft and Design Institute, established as a craft development agency, is the exception. Two case studies were undertaken to demonstrate the fact that the South African craft sector is complex, uncompetitive and unable to capitalize on market opportunities. The products are commercial, while the systems supporting them are not. These systems include internal business systems, infrastructure and logistics, language and communication, business development support etc. The case studies highlighted how these factors undermine the sector's ability to contribute to global trade. This is compounded by the fact that the vast majority of enterprises are rural in origin and the support systems do not adopt a Bottom of the Pyramid approach to development. The thesis makes a case for the integration of support and alignment of objectives of stakeholders involved in the sector. This integration is crucial to the South African craft sector's success in the global arena and is envisaged as follows: • The creation of a craft industry cluster to include both government and private sector stakeholders. • The nucleus of this cluster should be a craft development agency. • This agency should drive an economic agenda, but should adopt a holistic approach to development - the triple bottom line approach with a market driven agenda.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die doel van hierdie verhandeling is om inligting te verskaf ter ondersteuning van 'n geintegreerde mikro-ekonomiese intervensie van die Departement van Handel en Nywerheid (DHN) wat sal bydra tot die ontwikkeling van 'n globale handwerkbedryf en 'n verhoogde bydrae tot wereldwye handel in handwerk. Die Suid-Afrikaanse regering het die belangrikheid van die handwerksektor reeds sedert die aanvang van demokrasie in Suid-Afrika erken en het 'n aantal beleide ontwikkel om groei en ontwikkeling van hierdie sektor te verseker. Hierdie beleide strek oor die ekonomiese, kulturele en sosiale spektrum. Die verhandeling fokus hoofsaaklik op die ekonomiese aspekte van hierdie beleide. Die belangrikste daarvan is die Doelvervaardigde Sektor Program (DSP) vir Handwerk, wat deur die DHN ontwikkel is, omdat dit gemik is op die kommersialisering van die sektor. Volgens die DSP is die vergelykbare globale voordeel en strategiese posisionering van Suid-Afrika gelee in sy sterk ontwerp en innoverende vaardigheid; sy goeie wereldwye reputasie; saam met 'n relatiewe gesofistikeerde kommunikasie en IT - industrie en goed gevestigde infrastruktuur en logistieke vermoe. Nietemin lewer Suid-Afrika net minder as 1 % van die wereld se handel in handwerk. Dit kan toegeskryf word aan 'n aantal beperkende faktore, waaronder die volgende genoem kan word nl.: • 'n swak vlak van vaardighede van vervaardigingsondernemings; • hoe en swak kompeterende produkpryse; • onvermoe om op markgeleenthede te reageer; • gebrek aan navorsing en ontwikkeling; en • 'n gebrek aan 'n betroubare data-profiel van die nasionale sektor en markinformasie, wat op datum is. Daar is baie regeringsdepartemente en entiteite wat tans die handwerksektor ondersteun. Laasgenoemde het verskillende doelwitte en benaderings wat strek van ondememingsondersteuning en ekonomiese ontwikkeling tot sosiale welsyn en kulturele ondersteuning. Hierdie doelwitte en benaderings het ontwikkel tot 'n aantal programme. Hierdie programme funksioneer essensieel as aparte eenhede en sluit nie noodwendig bymekaar aan om kontinuum-ondersteuning te bied wat ontwikkeling van globale handwerkondernemings verseker nie. Die Kaapse Handwerk- en Ontwerpinstituut wat as 'n handwerkontwikkelingsagentskap gevestig is, is 'n uitsondering. Twee gevallestudies is ondemeem om die feit te illustreer dat die Suid-Afrikaanse handwerksektor ingewikkeld en nie mededingend is en nie die vermoe het om op markgeleenthede te kapitaliseer nie. Die produkte is kommersieel lewensvatbaar, maar die ondersteuningsstelsels is nie. Hierdie stelsels sluit in interne sake-stelsels, infrastruktuur en logistiek, taal en kommunikasie, en sakeontwikkellingsondersteuning. Die gevallestudies werp lig op hierdie faktore, en hoe dit die sektor se vermoe om globaal mee te ding ondermyn. Dit word vererger deur die feit dat die groot meerderheid van die ondernemings landelik van aard is en dat ondersteuningsstelsels nie besigheid doen aan die onderkant van die inkome-piramiede - van onder tot bo - nie. Die verhandeling maak 'n saak uit vir die integrasie van ondersteuning en doelwitgerigtheid van alle spelers wat betrokke is by hierdie sektor. Hierdie integrasie is van die uiterste belang vir die Suid-Afrikaanse handwerksektor se sukses op die wereldarena en word as volg gevisualiseer: • Die vestiging van 'n handwerkindustriegroep wat beide regerings- en privaatsektorspelers insluit. • Die kern van hierdie groep moet 'n handwerkontwikkelingsagentskap wees. • Die agentskap moet 'n ekonomiese agenda navolg met 'n holistiese benadering tot ontwikkeling, - die drievoudige-onderstelyn benadering met 'n markgedrewe agenda.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/6171
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