A masterplan has been developed to help create a better turnaround for manufacturers in the South African RCTFL (Retail, Clothing, Textile, Footwear and Leather) value chain, the SA Apparel Association (SAAA) announced at its AGM at the end of November.

The October 2017 figures from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) show that while output in the embattled sector clothing and footwear sector improved slightly compared to September, it is still on a downward slope: compared to a year ago, output was 3.3% lower – but it is better than the 6.6% drop the previous month.

The SAAA masterplan is similar to that of the South African auto sector. The association, formerly known as the Cape Clothing Association, has highlighted the industry’s challenges and expected job losses, and the Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, has given his formal endorsement of the masterplan.

The plan, which kicked off on 1 October, has four phases:

1) Determine existing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats within the apparel value chain, and look at the impact of the CTCIP (Clothing and Textile Competitiveness Improvement Programme) and its two parts – PI (Production Incentive Programme) and CIP (Competitiveness Improvement Programme) – on the chain’s performance.

2) Analyse global CTFL (Clothing, Textiles, Footwear and Leather) trends, development plans, and national policies to determine what competing economies have done to ensure the success of their value chains.

3) Develop a plan through to 2030. Consult industry stakeholders, including retailers, manufacturers, unions, and relevant government departments.

4) Evaluate policy options and recommendations for the period through to 2030.

It will conclude on the 30th of June 2018. Justin Barnes of B&M Analysts is the project consultant and it’s expected that recommendations will be finalised by end of June 2018.

The association also hopes to reveal a new design and structure for a single national employer body for the RTCFL sector soon.