Pretoria – Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Jeff Radebe, says the textile industry is one of the most strategic platforms through which South Africa can bolster trade of local products.
He was addressing the Ivili Loboya Textile launch on Thursday in Rosebank, Johannesburg. Ivili Loboya, which is Africa’s first cashmere fabric manufacturer, was first established in 2015 as a wool processing hub in Ibika village in Butterworth, Eastern Cape.
The Minister said the establishment of Ivili Textile is a very important milestone in efforts to transform the economic landscape of South Africa.
“It is the culmination of many years of hard work towards the establishment of this ground breaking initiative in the textile industry… These are quality niche wools sourced from different South African sheep breeds with local cotton and wild silk from the North West province.
“It is inspiring to note that the launch of this initiative will also mark the signing of an agency agreement with an Italian retailer, an initiative that will expand your markets to Europe.
“I believe that a project of this nature has great potential to contribute significantly both to the development of an inclusive economy as well as in employment creation,” said the Minister.
He said the manufacturing industry is an ideal model for sustainable entrepreneurship as it encourages productivity, hard work and self-reliance.
“You do not need to win a tender in order to be successful in this industry. The growth of your business is dependent on your productivity. These are the kinds of initiatives that add meaningful value in changing the current socio-economic conditions of the people of South Africa.”
He said an initiative such as this is a very important intervention in bolstering rural economies and addressing some of the country’s national imperatives.
National Development Plan
He commended Ivili Textiles for its strategic focus of promoting women participation, improving productivity through agronomic and development skills, as well as promoting entrepreneurship, thus contributing directly to the objectives of the National Development Plan (NDP).
The NDP identifies trade as one of the key interventions to enhance growth of a more dynamic and inclusive economy.
The NDP envisages a South Africa where rural communities have better opportunities to participate fully in the economic, social and political life of the country. It includes integration of the country’s rural areas, infrastructure development, job creation and poverty alleviation.
The Minister said there is a need to increase agricultural development based on successful land reform, employment creation and strong environmental safeguards.
“Business ventures that are based in such areas deserve all the support that we can give.”
Some of the key strategic interventions identified in the NDP include raising exports, improving skills development and investing in competitive infrastructure, among others.