Publisher of leading trade magazines for the Footwear, Leather-goods, Leather & PPE industries

S&V Weekly Newsletter Vol.3 No.46, November 20, 2017

This Newsletter is sponsored by SAFLIA

Please note: Click on any ad to go to the advertiser’s website


Zimbabwe: Cautious optimism from our readers

Zimbabweans in the leather, footwear and leather goods industries generally welcomed last week's 'non-coup' and the anticipated end of the Mugabe regime. They are also holding their breaths in hope that it will be replaced by something much better. The following are extracts from comments emailed to S&V:

For now it's business as normal. - Lisa Rheeder, business manager, Acol Chemical, Harare

All is quiet in Binga. Businesses have not been affected. Work as usual. - Anonymous, crocodile farm in the Kariba area.

I can only comment on economic matters and not political matters. I know the two are intertwined but we at Cathula Sandals are apolitical.
       As former managing director of Cathula Sandals I certainly would have reopened Cathula Sandals at this time when the improvement of the Zimbabwean economy is on the horizon.  It is, however, hard to say when Cathula will be back. We can only wait and see how things pan out economically before taking the bold step of reopening. All the ingredients of a healthy economy will have to show before Cathula returns. In the immediate term, I remain well positioned to assist Zimbabwean companies wishing to export to USA and / or Canada. I know there were some really capable manufacturers back home who used to make export quality leather goods and footwear. Can't wait to see Zimbabwe retake its position as "The Jewel of Africa".
- Tinashe Mandirahwe, Don and Sel Consultants, Calgary, Canada

Continues below...


Zimbabweans turned out in their tens of thousands over the weekend to joyously celebrate the end of the Mugabe era, and that appears to be uppermost in everyone’s minds. However calmer voices, both black and white, are endeavouring to remind the populace of the role that Mnangagwa and General Chiwenga played in Gukhurahundi, that it was these same generals who allowed Mugabe to come to power in 2008 and 2013, that it was this military and these war veterans who spearheaded the violence after the 2008 elections to ensure that Mugabe got back into power, and it is these same generals and military who are behind the abduction and murder of opposition MDC activists. And as Senator Dave Coltart said so succinctly yesterday, “I wonder who is going to cast the first stone at the ruining party’s central committee meeting taking place now to remove Mugabe as President for, amongst other things, corruption?”
       This coup, and our jubilant response, runs the risk of sanitising Zanu-PF and sealing our fate for another 37 years.
       Strangely enough though, Mugabe seems to have helped the opposition. Assuming that Mugabe would resign, Chinamasa said earlier that Zanu would not work with the opposition once Mnangagwa got the presidency. Now they have to impeach him, which means they need the MDC in order to get the two thirds vote.
- Gale Rice, director, Courteney Boot Co., Bulawayo

  Everything remains calm throughout the country and our stores are trading normally. - Linda Masterson, Group Managing Director, Edgars Stores Limited - Zimbabwe, Harare

We are in the middle of what some people call a coup.  The army are adamant that this is not a coup but “is to pacify a degenerating political, social and economic situation” and that they have simply embarked on an exercise to weed out criminals surrounding the President.  Legal minds say a rose by any other name is still a rose but accept that something had to be done to save the country from imploding.  Professor Steve Hanky (Johns Hopkins University, USA) says our implied Annual Inflation rate in September was 348% and Implied Monthly Inflation was 185%.  Today Government announced that inflation was I think, under 2%.  Prices are still rising with some commodities by as much as 300% so you can guess who is correct.  Corruption is endemic and most government institutions, including hospitals, have all but collapsed. - Bev Jack, retired, formerly director of LAIFEZ

There actually isn’t too much to report from here; that might sound unbelievable but it is business as usual tinged with hope for possible change.  The mood was positive earlier in the week but that is fading.  And being the patient people we are, that might be all the net result of this week – patience tested.  Business carries on, rumours fly – we are very, very good at rumours and rumours abound in the absence of facts. - Anonymous, component supplier, Harare

Continues below...


So far everything its fine. People are going to work, business as normal. They have placed road blocks. Yesterday l went to Francistown in Botswana [but they were] only asking for ID cards and checking on cars and what they are carrying. There is free movement of people. Even at night there is no victimization going to Harare. - Godknows Nhandara, director, York-Lee Suppliers, Bulawayo

Everything is running normally in Bulawayo but I think everyone is holding their breath as we wait. - Judy Friend, Safari Leather, Bulawayo

Every day activities are continuing and business as normal, as far as I know. We are certainly carrying on as normal.
       There is a huge air of expectation of something, and desire to know what is happening behind closed doors.
- Simon Arnold, Surrey Group, Harare-Mutare highway

The majority of Zimbabweans feel jubilant about the events of the last few days. This does not mean we that we are certain about the future, but the 15th of November 2017 was a very good day. The military did what they had to do, and they were the only ones who could do it. They did it professionally and as peacefully as was possible. I went through four army roadblocks on my way home and was treated with dignity and respect. To be honest I was incredibly proud to be Zimbabwean.
         In the process banks are operating normally and businesses are open, and hardly any police anywhere. We as the business community have every reason to be optimistic. We have enormous potential in our country, but a stale and selfish government stifled us.
       Of course we know that there will be challenges ahead, but the way Zimbabweans handled day one, fills us with hope for day two and three and beyond.
       We take nothing for granted, we trust in God and we pray for peace.
       But all said and done, day one was a very good day to be Zimbabwean.
- Nigel Hough, shareholder, Zambezi Tanners




Mr Price half year results

Downgrade concerns, but good start to summer

Extracts from the report posted online this morning
Durban (SA) – Total revenue rose 6.7% to R9.8bn as total retail sales of R9.1bn increased 6.4% and finance and other income increased by 11.2% to R643.3m. Sales in comparable stores were up 4.6%. Cash sales grew 7.2% and constitute 82.4% of total sales while credit sales were 5.1% higher. Retail selling price inflation was 2.6% and 97m units were sold, an increase of 4.2%. Weighted average trading space growth was in line with last year at 2.3%. The number of stores opened during the trading period increased by 29 to 1 240.
       Earnings growth was driven by MRP Apparel, Miladys and MRP Money. Earnings in the Home chains and MRP Sport declined. These chains’ retail merchandise is more discretionary in nature and hence the results are reflective of weak consumer confidence and a low growth economy. Product execution and value proposition have remained strong, but they were up against a strong performance in the comparable period, when double digit increases in operating profits were achieved. The Apparel chains’ RSOI increased by 9.0% to R6.9bn. Operating profit increased by 42.5% (PY decrease of 26.7%) to R1.1bn and the operating margin improved from 12.3% to 16.1%. Sales in MRP Apparel grew 10.2% (comparable 7.8%) to R5.6bn. In South Africa, store and online sales were up 10.5% and 29.7%, respectively. Non South African sales were up 6.2%. The division has the highest number of Facebook fans and Instagram followers in the SA fashion retail sector, while YouTube views have more than doubled. With regard to the impact of foreign retailers, our numbers show that our sales growth is generally better in locations where we compete with them. Miladys sales increased by 11.9% (comparable 11.8%) to R651.8m and despite the positive overall performance, there are still merchandise opportunities to capitalise on. MRP Sport grew sales by 1.5% (comparable -4.6%) to R644.0m.
       The company successfully transitioned to its new distribution facility in Hammarsdale on time and within budget and focus will now be aimed at realising the longer term financial benefits therefrom. The company is very concerned about the potential impact relating to sovereign ratings reviews and political outcomes. However the positive early signs of summer trading are encouraging, with October sales increasing by 8.3% and further momentum being gained going into November. - Full Report



Counterfeit case: Trial date set

Durban (SA) – The trial of Abdool Seedat, the owner of the factory at 86 Leicester Road, Mobeni, raided and shut down on October 19 last year for producing counterfeit Nike and Guess products, has been set for May 21-25 next year in the Durban Specialised Commercial Crime Court.



Springbok (SA) – Pro Sports changed hands in October. Piet Steyn is the new owner. - +27 (0)27 712 3570,

Jan Kempdorp (SA) – J French Cash Store will be closing at the end of the year.


S&V at ATF

S&V will be on stand A10 at the ATF fair this week (Tuesday-Thursday). Visitors and queries welcome.




November 21-23: ATF Trade Exhibition, Cape Town International Convention Centre. Deidre Harte, +27 (0)21 790 5849,


They Said It

"If I say I'll call you back, will you trust me?" - Alex Liu, from new Pinetown factory Cindy HCC. Still waiting, Alex.

"I've got my own way of doing things and I'll stick to it until they put me in a box, and then I'll still tell them how to close the damn thing." - Dave Boulanger, proprietor of The Little Leather Shop in Shelley Beach, leather crafter and unrepentant hippy. His cell phone ring tone is a Jimi Hendrix number.


Death notice

Harare (Zimbabwe) – Commission agent John Brock, who formerly represented Kaytex Belts and Ninian & Lester, died on September 20.



Birthdays this week

20/11/1964: Jessica Han, Gutsy, Bloemfontein.
20/11/19??: Vis Moodley, KwaZulu Shoe Co.
21/11/1950: JK Strydom, Werda Humansdorp Beleggings, Humansdorp.
23/11/1959: Bernice Kalakazinos, Toffee Clothing, St Francis Bay.
23/11/1970: Premilla Govender, Dynamic Engineering, Durban.
23/11/1966: Cornelio M Sunduza, Dadu Leathers Zimbabwe.
23/11/1938: Dave Wilson, retired, formerly Barker Footwear, Cape Town.
25/11/1952: Elaine Botha, Velle Shoppe, Heidelberg.
25/11/1977: Wayne Hockly, Sondor Industries, Cape Town.
26/11/19??: Ed Duthie, retired, formerly Bata Zimbabwe.
26/11/1967: Preggie Govender, Dynamic Engineering, Durban.
26/11/1974: Salman Jonas, Fred Footwear, Port Elizabeth.


In Memoriam this week

20/11/1997: Christian Larkins (b. 01/07/51), Interchem, Cape Town.
21/11/2009: Terry Batchelor (b. 30/10/1942), Intershu, Johannesburg.
21/11/2016: Ronnie Jones (b. 19/11/1949), Apeco, Johannesburg.
22/11/1992: Jimmy Shankland, Angels Shoes [closed], Cape Town.
22/11/1994: Chris Claassen, Futura Footwear, Pinetown.

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 10/11: Hides & skins prices

The average hide price over the past week was 0.6% higher at R12.24/kg green. NB* Hide prices are determined by the average of the RMAA (Red Meat Abattoir Association) and independent companies. The average price for Dorper skins was R37.00, and for Merino skins was 101.75.

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
07/07 14.33 43.33 100.94
13/07 14.37 44.44 114.58
28/07 14.14 43.64 97.50
04/08 14.16 43.69 99.64
14/08 14.08 38.99 92.75
18/08 13.70 43.18 98.96
25/08 13.93 43.75 100.96
01/09 13.14 44.09 101.25
08/09 12.88 41.82 100.83
21/09 12.64    
03/10 12.50    
11/10 12.52    
20/10 12.23 39.30 110.23
27/10 12.12 37.30 94.32
02/11 12.19    



Trade Fair dates

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


Contact us

News & Classifieds: Tony Dickson, +27 (0)31 209 7505,

Next newsletter: November 27, 2017.

SAFLIA enquiries: Tel 0800SAFLIA * Email * Website

Should you wish to subscribe email
Our website



©2017 S&V Publications