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S&V Weekly Newsletter Vol.3 No.27, July 10, 2017

This Newsletter is sponsored by SAFLIA

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Wage negotiations: Tanning

Port Elizabeth (SA) – The continuation of the conciliation meeting in the wage negotiations in the Tanning Sector takes place before a CCMA commissioner on Wednesday.
       The General Goods & Handbags and the Footwear Sectors have settled their negotiations, at 8% and 7.5% respectively.


Non-unionised workers 'not discriminated against' by obligatory payments to unions

From Theo Heffer, secretary, Association of SA Manufacturers of Luggage, Handbags & General Goods
Johannesburg (SA) – It was gratifying to read (in Vol.3 No.26, July 3, 2017) that an agreement had been reached in the Footwear sector through the collective bargaining process and without either party resorting to industrial action. Such successes are not always “news” and are often ignored in the daily media where power plays, dramatic events and what goes wrong command more column space or air time.
       As an outsider in the particular negotiations under discussion, I feel that the comment in regard to a routine amendment requiring that the contribution paid by non-unionised workers to the unions be increased from R14.75 per week to R15.64 (in line with increased subscriptions paid by members) needs some clarification.
       I’m not disputing that employees who do not belong to either NULAW or SACTWU (the party unions) are required to contribute towards the collective bargaining process in accordance with the Collective Agreement. It is necessary to emphasise, however, that this is totally in line with long established International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conventions (1946) that were endorsed by the South African government, labour and employers as far back as February 1996. The relevant Collective Agreement between labour and management is wholly in accordance with South African employment legislation. The likely interpretation of your report that “(o)ver a quarter of footwear workers - 2 600 – (who) don't belong to a union” are in some way victims or being discriminated against, perhaps by implication unfairly, is quite wrong. In terms of conventions, agreed to after tripartite negotiations internationally between labour unions, employer organisations and governments, the conventions and recommendations of the ILO address the best interests of all parties. In this case the problem of a minority of “free riders” who would otherwise benefit from the efforts of the majority, sometimes at considerable cost (not merely financial), is addressed. - [+27 (0)82 652 1090,]



Palm Footwear robbery

Durban (SA) – Manufacturer Palm Footwear was robbed of 13 cartons of PVC gumboots on Saturday, July 8. Operations manager Shaun Bucktaraj said it appeared to have been an opportunistic attack, with a vehicle carrying 5 men driving up to the company's dispatch entrance at around 5am, threatening the guard and loading the cartons "all within a couple of minutes". An armed response vehicle chased them into nearby Lamontville township, where it lost them. He said a vehicle matching the same description had been used in a theft from a parked truck in the same area a week ago.


Amazon apparel sales hot on Macy's heels

Extracts from a report on the U.S. National Retail Federation Top 100 retailer list by Caletha Crawford, Sourcing Journal, Posted on June 29
Though news out of much of the full-price apparel sector has been grim lately, many top stores across categories and tiers are holding their own.
       In what the ranking dubs its Mass Apparel category, which includes mid-tier department stores, off-price chains and fast fashion retailers, TJX is king. The company, which ranked No. 18 overall, experienced a 5 % increase in comp store sales to almost $21 billion (excluding HomeGoods). Though the company experienced a 2.4% decline in comp store sales, 24th ranked Kohl’s is a close second in this sector with just shy of $19 billion.
       The biggest movers in this category include Ascena Retail Group, home of stores like Ann Taylor and Lane Bryant, which leapt up to 61 from 86 on the overall list despite experiencing a 5 % drop in comp store sales to a total of just under $6 billion. H&M hopped up six spots from No. 100 last year with $4.1 billion in U.S. sales, and Ross Stores rose five places to 35th with a 4 % increase in same store sales to $12.9 billion.
       Of the premium apparel players, which includes multi-brand mall staples as well as better labels, only five earned enough to place in the top 100. Macy’s came out on top with $22 billion in U.S. sales (excluding Bloomingdale’s), despite comp sales that fell by 3.5%, followed by L Brands and Dillard’s.
       In the Luxury Apparel space, only five companies met the criteria to be mentioned. Besting these few was Nordstrom with just over $10.3 billion in sales (excluding Nordstrom Rack) and an almost negligible drop in comp sales. Neiman Marcus, which tumbled six slots to No. 86 in the overall list, was next with $4.8 billion. Saks/Lord & Taylor was next with $3.6 billion, sales that boosted it from 67 last year to 84 in 2017.
       Though it’s not ranked as an apparel retailer, it’s important to note that Amazon’s apparel sales—through third parties and direct—were estimated to be $22 billion for 2016. This places it just a hair behind Macy’s, which racked up $22.1 billion. - [View Article]




July 13: SAFLEC AGM, Coastlands Hotel, Umhlanga. +27 (0)31 266 1472,
August 2: SAFLIA AGM, venue to be confirmed, Cape Town. 0800SAFLIA,
August 18-22: Podiatry Association of SA 11th Biennial Congress, The Maslow, Sandton.



Durban (SA) – Natalie Rasmussen [pictured, right] has joined Stuart James [left] as a shareholder at Holster licensee Fashion Brands following the retirement of Ken Jarvis. She heads the company's online sales and marketing initiatives. The change is as of June 30.



They Said It

"I find it very interesting that the local automotive industry calls for local hide prices to come down, but they are willing to settle wage increases at 8% when CPI is 4.7%. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!" - Charl du Plessis, MD of Klein Karoo International, which includes an exotic leather tannery.

"[The CEO of a property group] pointed out by comparison to countries the world over that the times were indeed tough but compared to places like New Zealand, Australia, England and America, we still have it easy.  He used these as examples not so much as economic comparisons but due to the fact that these are the places most South Africans talk about emigrating to." - Gavin Sharples, The Small Business Site [View Article]



Birthdays this week

10/07/1940: Erwin Metzger, Sanata Footwear, Durban.
10/07/1945: Colin Symons, retired, formerly Elco Plastics, Cape Town.
10/07/1972: Annah-Mae Blair, The New Shoe Company, Durban.
11/07/1945: Maureen Liebenberg, retired, formerly Barker Footwear, Cape Town.
11/07/1964: Hafiza Shaikh, left the industry, formerly Amshu Distributors (closed), Greytown.
11/07/1975: Cassim Dawjee, Moola’s Fashion House, Newcastle.
12/07/1970: Guy Blake, agent, Cape Town.
13/07/1954: Peter Handley, Coventry Shoes, Durban.
14/07/1971: Laurence Lotzoff, Dale Footwear, Johannesburg.
15/07/1933: Joe Powell, retired, formerly Footwork, Trafalgar.
15/07/1971: Philipp Rein, Rein Tanning, Mossel Bay.
16/07/1954: Lex Devlin, emigrated, formerly ACA Threads, PE.
16/07/1956: AR Noorbhai, Razno Agencies, Johannesburg.
16/07/1974: Marisca Ras, The Health Shoe Shop, Pretoria.


In Memoriam this week

10/07/2002: Rodger Brewitt (b. 25/11/1947), Bata Zimbabwe/Futura Footwear, Port Shepstone.
10/07/2014: Terry Thomas (b. 12/05/1935), agent, Durban.
12/07/2015: Hessen Bernado (b. 19/07/1959), Bagshaw Footwear, Port Elizabeth.
16/07/2004: Frederick (Fred) Howard (b. 16/02/1918), King Tanning Company [closed], King William’s Town.

Do you have any names you’d like to add to our list of birthdays and In Memoriam? Please send the details.


ABSA Agri Trends 07/07: Hides & skins prices

The average bovine hide price over the past week was R14.33/kg green. Hide prices are determined by the average of RMAA and independent companies. The average price for Dorper skins was R43.33/skin and Merino was R100.94/skin.

Hide & skin price progression
Date Hides/Kg Dorper/Skin Merino Skin
19/01 15.34 45.56 81.38
24/01 15.17 40.92 89.52
31/01 15.10 46.00 94.55
14/02 14.65 47.33 95.29
15/03 14.25 39.30 78.75
24/03 14.13 45.27 94.45
28/03 14.07 45.27 94.45
04/04 14.83 41.92 87.58
11/04 14.68 41.92 84.12
19/04 14.77 43.85 92.32
25/04 14.75 41.25 92.27
04/05 14.79 43.33 92.69
10/05 14.75 40.50 88.41
16/05 14.58 40.83 90.96
31/05 14.62 40.50 87.95
09/06 14.58 41.82 96.35
23/06 14.40 40.42 101.25
29/06 14.30 41.36 98.44


Trade Fair dates

For a list of local and international trade fairs covering footwear, leather goods, leather and PPE, visit our website:


Classified Adverts


Manufacturing expertise on offer

Paul Sirilli, formerly of Sirilli Shoes, is looking to get back into the footwear industry – in production, procurement or retail quality assurance. He has 34 years of hands-on manufacturing experience in men’s, ladies’ and kiddies’ footwear. Completely familiar with Moccasin, Brogue and Derby styles in shoes and fashion, outdoor and military styles in boots, mostly in leather. Also a working knowledge of stuck-on, lock-stitch and side-stitch techniques, soling compounds. - Contact 083 961 1759,



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Next newsletter: July 17, 2017.

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