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Union-made blazers for South Africa's Rugby World Cup champions

6 November, 2019When South Africa beat England 32-12 in the Rugby World Cup final in Yokohama, Japan on 2 November, the 450 workers at the House of Monatic who belong to the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers Union (SACTWU) celebrated a double victory — that of the Springboks and of their union’s “buy local” campaign.

The House of Monatic is a garment factory in Cape Town that specializes in suits and formal wear. It has made suits for South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and recently blazers for the Rugby World Cup champions, the Springboks.

Buy local is a campaign initiated by SACTWU, affiliated to IndustriALL Global Union, to source textile, garments, footwear and leather products in the country instead of importing.

The campaign aims to create jobs in the sectors which are important in a country with high unemployment levels. SACTWU is working with the South African Rugby Union (SARU) to produce, among other things, replica shirts for rugby supporters. The union is also working with the South African Football Association and Cricket South Africa on the local procurement campaign.

Part of the union’s victory is that the buy local campaign demands are included in the retail, clothing, textile, footwear and leather masterplan which was signed at the second South Africa Investment Conference in Sandton, Johannesburg on 6 November.

Welcoming the signing of the masterplan, which will create 70,000 new manufacturing jobs, the union says that the plan provides “a firm basis for future growth and sustainability” of the sectors. The masterplan was signed by major retailers, manufacturers, labour, and government.

Andre Kriel, SACTWU general secretary, says:

“Major retailers will procure more clothing, textile, footwear and leather goods locally, up to 65 per cent, and manufacturers will increase investment in modernizing productive capacity in our industry. We are pleased with the commitments made by the government to help strengthen the inspections and compliance enforcement capacity of the South African Revenue Services to stamp out illegal imports and under-invoicing.”

“We look forward to the constructive and effective implementation of this new and innovative tripartite social compact; the first of its kind to be signed by our industry's major stakeholders.”

Proudly SA, a company that promotes locally manufactured products, is also a partner in the campaign.

Photo credit: The South African rugby team celebrates. Photo: GCIS/South African Government