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Industry News

South African & East African Footwear and Leather Goods, Leather and PPE industry news.

Okapi closes shank plant

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

Pinetown (SA) – The Okapi division of Southey Holdings Industries, one of two local manufacturers of steel shanks for footwear, has decided to discontinue production of that line as of this month.

        Accountant Derek Wright said shanks were one of a basket of products to be discontinued, and that the group would concentrate on the products “which generate 80% of our turnover”.

        “Our last sale of shoe shanks was actually a year ago, in February 2016,” he said. “The company also closed its Isithebe factory in September, and relocated to group premises in Pinetown.”

        He said Okapi planned to dispose of its stocks of shanks “at competitive prices”. – [+27 (0)32 459 2883, dwright@southey.co.za]

Nikkita raid: No charges for now, most workers released

Published: 6th Feb 2017

Durban (SA) – There are no formal charges at this stage against Nikkita Footwear cc or its members, following a raid last Wednesday by the SAPS and the Department of Home Affairs, Sid Singh of Pather & Pather Attorneys Inc said today.

He said at a court appearance on Thursday, the prosecutor had declined to place the matter on the roll – citing insufficient evidence without further investigation.

During the raid, all entrances to Nikkita and its sister company, component manufacturer Brit Footwear, were blocked. A number of staff were identified as potentially illegal immigrants. Some were carrying papers indicating they were both legal immigrants and had work permits. Others were taken to their places of residence to produce those documents. 35 were taken into custody. Nikkita employs around 170 staff and Brit around 35.
 
However, one of the members of Nikkita said that 32 of those had been released without bail, but that there was no further information relating to the remaining 3.
 
Fellow member, Shaun Ganesh, had his bail of R5 000 returned after the court appearance.
 
Ganesh said all staff, including those who had been taken into custody, had been paid rates stipulated by the Wage Agreement.

New cluster: Formation date set

Published: 6th Feb 2017

Pretoria (SA) – The Programme Approval Panel of the IDC’s Clothing & Textile Competitiveness Improvement Programme has approved the formation of a new national cluster to replace the former National Footwear & Leather Cluster, according to acting GM Ernest Heunis.

Likely to be known as the Footwear & Leather Industries Cluster (FLIC), the founding meeting and incorporation meeting will be held on February 15, at the Eddels offices in Pietermaritzburg, and will be attended by representatives of the 4 sub-national clusters who will be its founding members – the Exotic Leather Cluster, the Fast Track Cluster (aka the Foschini/Eddels cluster), the Durban Regional Cluster (the Mr Price cluster), and the Southern Cape Cluster.

“Once it has been founded, other stakeholders will be asked to join, as directors and members,” he said.

SATRA grows ‘restricted substances’ testing

Published: 6th Feb 2017
Author: Tony Dickson - S&V Editor

Kettering (UK) – SATRA’s Chemical and Analytical Technology group has almost doubled its turnover over the past 5 years, according to a release today. The main product sector SATRA serves are footwear, furniture, toys and personal protective equipment (PPE), and “a sizeable portion of the chemistry team’s business is testing in accordance with restricted substances legislation”, the release said.

“Within Europe, this is mainly driven by REACH (Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006) and the innocuousness requirements for PPE as part of the certification requirements through SATRA’s Notified Body activities.

“A specialist area that has seen major growth is with the assessment of industrial, examination and surgical gloves to determine their level of protection against hazardous chemicals. SATRA can test to the requirements in EN ISO 374-1:2016 so gloves can be certified against this newly published standard. This involves a new requirement to test the degradation of gloves in accordance with EN 374-4:2013 and permeation testing to EN 16523-1:2015. A new area of permeation testing for SATRA in 2016 was testing against chemotherapy drugs to ASTM D6978. Due to the very low detection limits required, SATRA is one of the few laboratories in Europe that can offer this testing service.”

All leather, footwear and leather goods exports to the EU are also subject to REACH requirements. – [http://www.satra.co.uk/]

Tags: SATRA

Pest alert: Detection of Fall Army Worm for the first time in SA

Published: 6th Feb 2017
Author: Tony Dickson - S&V Editor

Pretoria (SA) – According to a release from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) on Friday, a new agricultural pest originally from the Americas has been identified in SA.

        “DAFF today received a diagnostic report from the Agricultural Research Council, Plant Protection Research Institute (ARC PPRI) to confirm that the Fall Army Worm, Spodoptera frugiperda, was positively identified from samples collected in the Limpopo Province.  The samples were jointly collected by scientists from the ARC Grain Institute and the North West University. These were caterpillars that had to pupate and emerge as moths before a positive identification could be done.

        “Fall Army Worm (FAW) is a quarantine pest for South Africa which has a wide host range and can affect crops such as maize, sorghum, soybeans, groundnuts and potatoes. This pest is a good flyer and cannot be contained in a specific area. Damage reported in South Africa so far is mainly on yellow maize varieties and especially on sweetcorn as well as maize planted for seed production. Reports of caterpillar damage have been received mainly from the Limpopo and North West provinces.”

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