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Footwear Industry News

NULAW ‘fully committed’ to SARS forum

Published: 20th Mar 2017
Author: Ashley Benjamin; General Secretary; NULAW

Pretoria (SA) – It is rather regrettable that SAFLIA adopted a stance to withdraw from this important forum. NULAW fully supports the efforts by SARS Customs Fraud unit to combat illegal imports and under invoicing despite its current challenges.

        NULAW have attempted over the past three years to convince SAFLIA to agree to develop a reference pricing system for the Footwear Industry which in our view will assist to curb the influx of illegal importation of footwear and under invoicing. If managed properly could result in increased local orders, decent job creation and increased revenue for government.

        As Labour we [are] fully committed to work with SARS to commence with a reference pricing system for the local Footwear sector with or without the support of SAFLIA. Our interaction with some of the CEO’s signals support for a reference pricing system as it will derive benefits for the local industry.

        NULAW finds it very strange why SAFLIA selectively choose to accept government support in terms of grants and incentives but is reluctant to agree to a reference pricing system as in the case of clothing and textiles.  We are still hopeful that the SAFLIA leadership will reconsider their current stance. – [+27 (0)31  206 0105,]

SACTWU suspends anti-illegal imports protests

Published: 13th Mar 2017
Author: Tony Dickson - S&V Editor

Cape Town (SA) – The Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) has suspended its planned series of protests outside SA Revenue Services (SARS) offices “intended to demonstrate our extreme unhappiness with the crisis of illegal imports flooding into South Africa which SARS has stopped effectively policing over the past two years or so”, according to a release from general secretary Andre Kriel.

        SACTWU held a protest outside the SARS head office in Pretoria last Friday, and had planned another 18 protests outside regional and branch offices around the country, as well as at harbours and other ports of entry, up to the end of March.
        It has suspended the campaign pending a meeting with SARS on April 12.

        SACTWU believes up to R4 billion worth of import duties on clothing and footwear imports from China are lost annually because SARS is not policing imports effectively.

SAFLIA: Import forum ‘going nowhere’

Published: 13th Mar 2017
Author: Tony Dickson - S&V Editor

The Southern African Footwear & Leather Industries Association (SAFLIA) had already lost confidence in the SARS. Late last year executive director Jirka Vymetal told the CTFL Industry Forum – a body chaired by SARS and intended to discuss illegal/undervalued imports and similar issues – that he would no longer attend its meetings as they were “achieving nothing”. At a meeting on January 23 with Helena Tripmaker, the senior SARS official on the forum and her team, he said the clothing-dominated forum was “going nowhere” for the footwear industry. Both unions were also invited to this meeting, but neither attended. Vymetal said he felt the structure “needed to be revisited”.

This is a developing story. More to follow.

Stuttafords: Rescue plan approved

Published: 13th Mar 2017
Author: Neil Miller; partner; Mazars

Johannesburg (SA) – The amended business rescue plan was voted and approved by Creditors and Shareholders last Wednesday so we are in the process of implementing the said plan which we envisage will be finalised by mid to end April. – [+27 (0)21 818 5074,]

FLIC: Awaiting final step before starting

Published: 13th Mar 2017
Author: Tony Dickson - S&V Editor

Pretoria (SA) – The Footwear & Leather Industries Cluster (FLIC), approved by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) in January as the replacement for the National Footwear & Leather Cluster (NFLC), has still to be registered as a legal entity before it can start operating, but its focus will be on “enabling interventions” – primarily in education and training, and creating value chains.

        Where the NFLC had its own premises at Vaal University of Technology in Sebokeng, including a footwear factory, FLIC will assist its 4 founder members – the sub-national/regional clusters – with their projects, and encourage the formation of other, similar clusters.

        The 4 members are: the Exotic Leather SA (ELSA), the Footwear & Leather Goods Regional Cluster/Durban (aka ‘the Mr Price cluster’), the Fast Track Regional Footwear Cluster (the ‘TFG/Eddels cluster’), and the Southern Cape Regional Footwear Cluster.

        At their first meeting, the members appointed Ernest Heunis as interim manager. He was acting GM of the NFLC after the decision was taken to shut it down.

        The NFLC is still under forensic audit by the IDC.

©2017 S&V Publications