Textile and Clothing Industry Summary Report

Textile and Clothing Industry Summary Report. Since the apartheid era, there was quite rapid development of South Africa's manufacturing sector up until the early 1970s, driven by import substitution as well as the development of a 'mineral energy complex.' This expansion was based on the existence of raw materials coupled with state support including low-priced energy. Another feature of the economy was a high degree of concentration with large swathes of manufacturing dominated by large firms. However, the limitations of this development model were apparent by the early 1980s and government started to promote manufactured exports with some liberalisation of trade and the introduction of measures such as the General Export Incentive Scheme (GEIS). The problem of slow industrial expansion was the subject of much debate at the time of the transition to democracy. To complement trade liberalisation, a range of measures to support small firms, as well as encourage investment, technological improvements and exports were introduced. These included sector specific adjustment programmes, investment incentives, 'supply-side' incentive programmes, subsidised infrastructure, support measures for skills development and technology, special loan facilities and support programmes for small firms.