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

S&V Weekly Newsletter Vol.4 No.29, July 24, 2018

This Newsletter is sponsored by SAFLIA

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


Strike into third week; meetings planned for today

The Little Slipper Company staff putting out burning tyres.

The footwear manufacturing industry strike has moved into its third week.
       According to the National Bargaining Council, the manufacturers' association, SAFLIA, will hold a CEO's meeting at 10 this morning (Tuesday) to see whether they are prepared to revise their 6.5% offer.
       According to Ashley Benjamin, general secretary of the majority union, NULAW, the unions are to meet employers today at 1 this afternoon.
       The strike is not uniform. As of yesterday, at least 5 factories in Durban were working more-or-less with full staff complements, and at least 1 of those has not been on strike at all. A number are working in the evenings and/or over weekends, and others have at least some of their production staff. Still others have chosen to close their factories and to treat the period as short time.
       There have been claims and counter-claims of intimidation. Police in Chatsworth, Durban, moved picketers yesterday after allegations of violence and intimidation.
       In Port Elizabeth, after a successful application by The Little Slipper Company, the Labour Court on July 18 ordered both unions and their members not to:
- Set fire to tyres, pallets and/or any objects outside the premises of the applicant;
- Blockade the entrances to the applicant's premises;
- Blockade the exits from the applicant's premises;
- Interfere with or intimidating those employees who wish to go about their lawful business;
- Prevent the applicant from going about its lawful business;
- They were also interdicted from approaching within 30 meters of the applicant's premises.
       Further applications are being made by both sides.
       In his emailed response to a request for comment, Benjamin said that NULAW and SACTWU agreed to work together during wage negotiations and the current footwear strike "in the interest of worker unity".
       He denied rumoured merger talks between NULAW and SACTWU.
       SACTWU general secretary André Kriel said his union "aligned itself" with Ashley's comments. He did not respond to a query about whether SACTWU planned to assist workers from a 'strike fund'.
       On Twitter, SACTWU announced on July 16 that it had declared a national wage dispute in the clothing sector, and said "60 000 of our clothing members might strike if employers don't agree to our final demands".
       Employer body SAFLIA did not respond to a request for comment.



Open letter to unions: You're targeting the wrong people

I have a job in the footwear Industry. My job is to create jobs, nothing else. And I am passionate about it.
       I regard myself first as a ‘servant’ of the industry chain: the Retailers, the organisation & its shareholders, its workforce, and the country. I don’t like talk about ‘leaders’ – that leads to arrogance, lack of ground level understanding and corruption.
       Pietermaritzburg used to have footwear jobs in the 10s of thousands. This has sunk to a paltry 3000. My team has been successful in creating about 400-500 factory jobs over the last few years, and at the same time stopping the steep decline here. Hundreds of people have been trained.
       Of course creating jobs is not that simple – and it takes time:
It requires making excellently what people want or aspire to, at prices they can afford,
It requires equipment & systems,
It requires organisation and management,
It requires inbound & outbound logistics,
It requires training and education,
       But it also requires a dedicated work force, who take pride in their work, who say “I made that and I am proud of it”, and most of all it requires Retailers who will support local manufacture because it is competitive, quick, convenient, efficient and responsive.
       The work-forces in the industry are on strike – what has gone wrong?
       They have been offered wage increases 2% above inflation.
       Even though these workers earn 80% more than equivalent workers in other industries, I am really on their side. I would like to see them earn more. I would love to be in an industry that could afford to pay healthy and growing wages that this industry can’t.
       But they have picked the wrong target.
- It’s the heavily incentivised goods from China, and India and any of a number of sources against which they have to compete that they should target.
- It’s the stuff that is imported corruptly by smuggling, misclassifying & under-invoicing and by round-tripping through SADEC states to avoid duties. - They should be striking at the docks where poor enforcement lets these under-priced goods through.
- It is the stuff that is made cheaply by illegal workers holed up in Ladysmith & Chatsworth, that is where they should be striking.
- It is the Retail chain buyer who likes overseas trips and must buy stuff to justify them, who is now going to say “I told you so! We must import because local is not reliable”. It is the Retail chain that concentrates on ‘initial’ instead of ‘retained’ margins in their costings, which treats local goods in the same way they treat imports. That might be a better place for workers to show their displeasure.
       They have picked the wrong target and they’re endangering the survival of the very operations that provide their jobs – no one is rich in this manufacturing industry any more.
       May sense prevail – Those union ‘leaders’ need to think like ‘servants’ not leaders – they’re shooting themselves and the industry in the foot. I cry at the prospect of losing the jobs that we, and the government, have spent so much time and money creating. - Jonathan Hallowes, Servant, The Fast Track Footwear Cluster.



They Said It

"We were paid with a currency which was false from the beginning." - Former Tekkie Town CEO Bernard Mostert on the application by former Tekkie Town shareholders for the return of the business by Steinhoff Africa Retail.


Exchange rates


  Euro € GBP £ US $ Yuan Renminbi ¥
11/12/2017 R15.82 R17.99 R13.40 R2.03
05/01/2018 R14.86 R16.69 R12.33 R1.90
13/01/2018 R15.14 R17.03 R12.41 R1.92
22/01/2018 R14.76 R16.75 R12.08 R1.88
26/01/2018 R14.74 R16.79 R11.86 R1.87
05/02/2018 R14.96 R16.89 R12.02 R1.91
12/02/2018 R14.64 R16.51 R11.95 R1.88
16/02/2018 R14.43 R16.30 R11.63 R1.83
23/02/2018 R14.19 R16.12 R11.54 R1.82
05/03/2018 R14.60 R16.39 R11.85 R1.86
12/03/2018 R14.58 R16.43 R11.82 R1.86
16/03/2018 R14.72 R16.70 R11.97 R1.89
23/03/2018 R14.53 R16.60 R11.75 R1.86
03/03/2018 R14.58 R16.62 R11.83 R1.88
11/04/2018 R14.75 R16.91 R11.93 R1.90
16/04/2018 R14.89 R17.23 R12.04 R1.91
23/04/2018 R14.99 R17.11 R12.27 R1.94
30/04/2018 R15.06 R17.16 R12.47 R1.96
07/05/2018 R14.96 R16.98 R12.55 R1.97
14/05/2018 R14.60 R16.54 R12.21 R1.92
22/05/2018 R14.84 R16.92 R12.61 R1.97
28/05/2018 R14.47 R16.55 R12.43 R1.94
04/06/2018 R14.70 R16.78 R12.54 R1.95
11/06/2018 R15.46 R17.55 R13.10 R2.04
18/06/2018 R15.63 R17.83 R13.45 R2.09
25/06/2018 R15.89 R18.05 R13.60 R2.07
02/07/2018 R16.10 R18.18 R13.87 R2.08
09/07/2018 R15.79 R17.90 R13.41 R2.02
16/07/2018 R15.45 R17.50 R13.19 R1.97
23/07/2018 R15.82 R17.72 R13.52 R1.99




23/07/1940: Errol Schilder, retired, formerly Barker Footwear, Cape Town.
23/07/1954: Jerome Ingenhoes, Exotan, Port Elizabeth.
23/07/1956: Rob Peschel, emigrated, formerly Outeniqua Tanning [closed], George.
25/07/1949: Leslie D'Unienville, agent, Durban.
25/07/1952: Antoine Lailvaux, agent, Durban.
25/07/1948: GH Moosa, Riley Trading, Pietermaritzburg.
25/07/1948: Duncan Naidoo, Lugogo, Pietermaritzburg.
25/07/1974: Morné Gerber, Little Slipper Co., Port Elizabeth.
26/07/1982: Jameel Cassim, Fashion & Shoe Scene, Gauteng.
27/07/1949: Oli Gardella, retired.
27/07/1959: Vibeke Dugmore, KKI Leather Marketing, Oudtshoorn.
27/07/1958: Morris Marimuthoo, Allimor Footwear, Durban.
28/07/1970: David Platt, formerly Simitri Specialty Chemicals, Kempton Park.
28/07/1950: Charles Stuart White, agent, Durban.


In Memoriam this week

25/07/2004: Jules Fisher (b. 19/07/1931), Fashionette Footwear [closed], Cape Town.
29/07/1993: JA "Pat" O'Brien, agent.
29/07/2003: Dennis South, (b. 26/12/1923), Cuthberts, Johannesburg.
29/07/2010: Eric Harvey (b. 09/02/1925), Barker Footwear, Cape Town.

Have you let us know about your birthday, or the birthdays of your colleagues? Our readers love this section, so please become part of it. This also applies to the In Memoriam section. Help us remember former colleagues.


ABSA Agri Trends 06/07: Hides & skins prices

Overall, the hide market sentiment remains bearish, in line with the weak international hide market. Shipments to Italy are expected to be limited as well, weighing on the market. There are also indications of oversupply in South America which further add pressure on the market. The average hide price over the past week was R7.04/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 R32.14, and for Merino skins was R86.67.

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    
10/11 12.24 37.00 101.75
30/11 11.82 32.56 94.25
07/12 11.76 35.50 92.50
14/12 11.53 35.50 91.86
02/02 10.39 32.50 92.22
09/02 10.17 33.13 91.27
16/02 9.94 32.50 88.26
16/02 9.94 32.50 88.26
16/03 9.62 33.75 90.50
23/03 9.56 32.22 87.63
06/04 8.86 36.67 82.50
13/04 8.98 35.00 81.25
23/04 8.40 35.13 86.00
26/04 8.18 34.13 86.11
07/05 7.89 33.33 83.13
18/05 7.71 33.50 82.22
25/05 7.78 31.38 86.06
01/06 7.74 30.71 95.89
08/06 7.43 31.67 87.50
15/06 7.67 32.11 87.40
22/06 7.60 32.50 86.70
29/06 7.13 32.78 86.50


Trade Fair dates

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


Classified Adverts




Experienced well-established agents are seeking additional lines in Apparel and Footwear.
We have superb centrally situated showrooms and have years of experience in both Wholesale and Retail.

Mike Samuel   0824477110      031-3127065
Yasin Ally    0837295136      031-3127531

In need of a boardroom?

SAFLEC, situated at 6 Stedman Mews, 128 Jan Hofmeyr Road, Westville, has a boardroom for hire.
       It seats up to 12 people around a table, and has space to add up to 15 more chairs in the room. You are welcome to view the room before hiring.
       For more information, please contact Louise on 031 266 1473 or
We look forward to being of service.


Contact us

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

Next newsletter: July 30, 2018.

SAFLIA enquiries: Tel 0800SAFLIA * Email * Website

Should you wish to subscribe email
Our website



©2017 S&V Publications