South Africa's clothing industry has not avoided the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, with retail sales showing the worst decline ever recorded. However, according to local manufacturers, they are pulling out all the stops to snatch back the market share from imports, as they continue to face supply chain disruptions brought on by the pandemic.
There have long been calls to revitalise garment manufacturing in South Africa, which has battled to compete with China and other cheap importers. The Retail Clothing, Textile, Footwear and Leather Master Plan, which was signed by government and local retailers in 2019, is also expected to give local manufacturers a leg up. But the CTFL sector has seen several plant closures and associated job losses in the past year, reducing local capacity to produce.