In an effort to supply more traceable products, the South African government has approved a 200 million rand ($18.8 million) grant to set up a new sustainable textile and apparel cluster.
The grant is backed by a five-year production plan to ramp up the country’s competitiveness in sustainable manufacturing and is intended to support local industry by developing production capacity and by using locally-sourced raw materials. Initial efforts will begin with cotton, followed by plans to include all natural and synthetic fibers in the future.
A National Sector Body will also be established to represent the entire value chain from fiber to end-product. Leaders from each sector will work with the government to create a road map for future development and to address issues of national concern.
Funding for the initiative is through the Competitiveness Improvement Program (CIP), a division of the Clothing and Textile Competitiveness Program (CTCP), which works toward stabilizing employment and improving overall competitiveness in clothing, textile, footwear, leather and leather goods manufacturing.