17 Nov KINGSGATE CLOTHING
The clothing manufacturing industry remains an important source of employment in the South African manufacturing industry. The IDC and the dtic have been working closely with companies operating in the sector to improve their competitiveness and retain and build local manufacturing capacity.
With some 44 000 people employed in the clothing industry, maintaining and increasing competitiveness of businesses that continue to operate in an industry that has been facing stiff competition from imports over a number of years is paramount to South Africa’s challenge to reindustrialise and address growing unemployment.
The R-CTFL Master Plan plans to build on the advances that have been made to improve the sector’s sustainability. Kingsgate Clothing was established in 1955 in Durban to manufacture shirts and school-wear. From humble beginnings, the company has grown over the years and today operates factories in Durban, Hammarsdale, Johannesburg, and Cape Town, employing more than 700 people directly and creating jobs for another 800 people through outsourcing of additional cut, make and trim operations.
It is one of the largest clothing manufacturers in the country and is a supplier of choice to many retailers. With a large portion of the fabric and trim that it uses in its manufacturing operations being sourced from local producers, it also plays an important role in contributing to the sustainability of the local textiles industry.
Yusuf Vahed, the current CEO, has been involved in the day-today operations of this family-owned business since 1981 and his knowledge of the industry and the relationships that he has developed with key players play a large part in the company’s success. The company has partnered with the IDC at various points over the past 10 years to provide funding for expansions, upgrades of equipment, and to provide working capital that allowed it to fund
In the latest round of funding, in addition to providing working capital for the company to meet its growing order book, the IDC is providing funding that will allow the company to further increase its competitiveness by implementing a system to help it manage its stock and reduce costs. Parts of the business’s operations were affected by electricity outages and the funding is also being used to purchase a generator that will allow the company to further increase its competitiveness by implementing a system to help it manage its stock and reduce costs. Parts of the business’s operations were affected by electricity outages and the funding is also being used to
purchase a generator that will allow these operations to run smoothly through these outages.