Fashion-crazy SA needs a deliberate strategy to grow textile sector

The 12-month youth development initiative will empower 60 business-minded township youth from Mabopane (Gauteng), Umlazi (KwaZulu-Natal), and Gugulethu (Western Cape) with knowledge and skills in the fashion and the textiles sector.

“The programme targets specific areas for the simple reason that we can leverage existing networks that we have created, which makes things easier for us when the time comes for us to make placements for experiential learning (internships),” says Dichabe.

He says there are plenty of opportunities in the domestic and the export market.

“There is a big demand for products made in South Africa. We are simply letting the opportunities slip away,” laments Dichabe.

“We also need a legislative framework that supports the industry to avoid foreign dominance of our textile industry.”

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“We are already changing the way we do business and I see a downsizing of showrooms but there is still a need by many customers to interact with a person in the final stages of purchasing a vehicle, even though a great deal of initial research has been conducted online,” explained Mark Dommisse, the Chairperson of the National Automobile Dealers’ Association (NADA).

“Buyers today have a choice of 49 vehicle brands in South Africa and they don’t want to make the wrong decision, so they still like to discuss the pros and cons of the vehicle and the deal offered with a sales executive.

“We see our customer base as our most important intellectual property and have heightened our efforts to further improve customer relationship management (CRM). We also believe that dealerships, especially those in rural areas, play a big role in the life of their communities, which remains important even in these changing times,” added Dommisse.

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South Africa’s important built-up vehicle export programme is under threat from two major fronts. This is one of the strong messages that came out of Messe Frankfurt SA’s recent Hypermobility virtual conference and it was mentioned by several speakers at this annual conference.

Hypermobility was fully supported by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (naamsa) and had AutoTrader as its headline sponsor. The event was also supported by the Retail Motor Industry organisation (RMI) and the South African Motor Body Repairers Association (SAMBRA).

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