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S&V Weekly Newsletter Vol.4 No.33, August 20, 2018

This Newsletter is sponsored by SAFLIA

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


Brands Unlimited closed, negotiating sale of Soviet store

Durban (SA) – Brands Unlimited owner Iqbal Abdool has confirmed that he has closed all 5 of those stores, and is negotiating the sale of his stand-alone Soviet franchise store in Gateway to Claude Naidoo of Simply Brands.
       Abdool said he would "take a sabbatical" before deciding his future, but said he had "no hesitation" in saying that he would not return to fashion retailing.
       Caroline Hardman, MD of the Soviet Division of the Soviet Group, said she was aware of the negotiations, and that the parties were awaiting a cession of the lease by Gateway's leasing agent.
       She said Soviet's concept stores were "trading really nicely", but that they remained "more a marketing tool than a change of direction from wholesale".



Official end to strike expected today

Cape Town (SA) – Trade union SACTWU has indicated that it expects its members to accept the revised wage offer by SAFLIA, thus officially ending the strike. Rival union NULAW has already accepted the offer, and all strike action was suspended earlier. In a statement issued on Saturday, SACTWU general secretary André Kriel said:
       “SACTWU has completed its industrial action settlement ballot for the 2018 round of footwear sector wage substantive negotiations on Friday afternoon past. The processes went well. The outcomes will be consolidated today (Saturday 18 August 2018) and our Collective Bargaining Department expects the final report to be submitted to the SACTWU Head Office by tonight.
       "The SACTWU leadership anticipates that our footwear members would have accepted our trade union’s leadership recommendation to settle the strike However. this will of course only be determined by the finally verified outcomes of the actual votes cast.
       "We anticipate that we will formally advise the leather bargaining council and SAFLIA of the final outcomes of our ballot by no later than the morning of Monday 20 August 2018.”



NSPCA lays charges against mohair farmers

Johannesburg (SA) – The National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) has laid charges against four mohair farmers following a recent exposé by the animal rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), who uncovered brutal abuse on farms in the Eastern Cape and Western Cape of South Africa.
       Footage revealed goats being dragged by their horns and legs, a man can be seen kneeling on a goat’s neck, goats being lifted by their tails and thrown across the floor.  Shearers can be seen inflicting wounds on the goats and crudely stitching up the wounds on the shearing floor, without providing any pain relief or anaesthesia.
       The footage also shows a goat being slaughtered by a man who saws into the animal’s neck with a short knife without pre-stunning it and then proceeded to begin dressing the animal before it had bled out.
       “The graphic footage that we received was shocking. The agony and distress that these animals endured was both horrendous and unacceptable. The NSPCA will relentlessly pursue justice for the animals that have suffered so tremendously,” said Senior Inspector Grace De Lange, the manager of the NSPCA Farm Animal Protection Unit.
       The NSPCA is opposed to farming practices which cause suffering or distress to animals and will continue to inspect these farms and intervene when necessary. - Grace De Lange, NSPCA Farm Animal Protection Unit Manager, +27 (0)82 411 0567,


They Said It

"The more I taste the 'gap year' the more it looks like my retirement is going to be permanent." - John Lyon, who retired from Jaguar Shoes (née Springfield Footwear) in Lesotho in February. Initially he was planning to take a break before returning to the industry.

"As soon as Mark and I realised that you wanted a photo, we passed the task onto Grant!" - Claw Boot's Jill Fraser, on a request for feedback for the Business Barometer in the upcoming issue of the S&V Footwear & Leather Goods Magazine. You will see his smiling face later this week.


Nuts! A lesson for copyists?

This has nothing to do with any of the industries covered by S&V, but it should be a warning to everyone who seeks to copy others for success.
       According to the Southern African Macadamia Growers' Association (, there were 19 000 hectares of macadamia trees in SA in 2012, which has grown to 32 500 ha, "and the rate of production is expected to increase even more in the near future due to an exponential increase in new plantings annually".
       The reason is that 95% of the produce is exported, and the markets are very strong.
       However, this post from the USAID Hub in East Africa appeared in July:


The value of Kenya’s macadamia nut exports to the U.S. has been on a steady rise since 2000, the year the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) came into effect. AGOA is a trade program that helps establish stronger commercial ties between the U.S. and eligible sub-Saharan Africa countries by reducing tariffs on select goods. Macadamia nuts is one of 6,500 products that qualify for duty-free access to the U.S. under AGOA. 
       Macadamia nuts are also a “specialty food,” which the USAID Hub defines as high-value, low-volume product that combines some of the following qualities; uniqueness, origin, health or restorative properties, processing method, design, limited supply, unusual application or use, extraordinary packaging, or channel of distribution/sale. The Hub focuses its technical assistance and market linkage support on specialty foods because of U.S. demand and because specialty foods tend to offer higher margins to sellers.
       If East African specialty food sellers can show good manufacturing practices, a robust value chain, a unique product and strong customer service, the U.S. market offers high-sales opportunities – and both buyers and sellers gain.

It takes macadamia trees 5 years to produce their first crop. At some point, there will be global overproduction, and the newest entrants will get hit the hardest.
       Try relating that to (a) retailing sneakers and (b) manufacturing ballerinas and flat sandals.


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
28/07/2018 R15.36 R17.26 R13.17 R1.93
04/08/2018 R15.40 R17.31 R13.31 R1.94
11/08/2018 R16.11 R18.02 R14.11 R2.06
18/08/2018 R16.75 R18.67 R14.64 R2.013




20/08/1965: Craig Brouwer, Albatros Clothing & Promotional Gifts, Germiston.
20/08/1980: Nicholas Bryant, A Greenaways, Cape Town.
21/08/1949: Brian Pollock, retired, formerly Jordan Shoes, Cape Town.
21/08/1952: Wayne Little, Matas Import, Cape Town.
21/08/1974: Lisa Rheeder, Acol Chemical, Harare.
22/08/1936: Norma Varley, retired, Edgars, Durban.
22/08/1954: Jax Snyman, The Sweat Shop, Johannesburg.
22/08/1956: Carlo Longano, Bodynamics Institute, Cape Town.
23/08/1947: Leon Volschenk, Leo D’ Mar, Great Brak River.
23/08/1949: David Sheppard, DP Sheppard & Co, Port Elizabeth.
23/08/1965: Glyn Giani, the Footwear Design & Technology School of SA, Pinetown.
24/08/1940: Fred Carpel, agent, Johannesburg.
24/08/1944: Rolf Oltmanns, PMC Group, Pinetown.
24/08/1957: Clive Wood, Crown Footwear, Pinetown.
24/08/1961: Ulf Oehl, BASF SA, Midrand.
25/08/1957: Judy Ambrose, left the industry, formerly agent, Durban.
25/08/1970: Imran Mahomed, Mr American, Malelane.
25/08/1972: Andrew Fenwick, Saddler Belts & Leathercraft, Durban.
25/08/1980: Yvonne Speirs, Fusion Leather, Durban.
26/08/1971: Sadia Edries, Rizzo Sales, Cape Town.


In Memoriam this week

20/08/2016: Gordon Horsfield (b.), GW Cowie & Co, Durban.
21/08/????: Edward Jones-Davies (b. 10/06/1925), BUSM [closed], Port Elizabeth.
21/09/1993: Bhagwandas Dayaram Ambaram (b. 15/07/1943), JFK Trading, Durban.
22/08/2006: Bob Butler (b. 01/02/1928), Burton’s Shoes, 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 10/08: Hides & skins prices

The average hide price over the past week was R5.32/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 R34.44, and for Merino skins was R87.10.

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
06/07 7.04 32.14 86.67
27/07 5.85 40.56 96.83


Trade Fair dates

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


Classified Adverts


Pudney Leather Hats and Crafts ( is looking for Agents.

Show your interest and email your CV as well as the area you are covering to: or

We are catering for Corporate/Outdoor Outlets/Lodges and Curio Shops.

We are looking for reliable new outlets to carry our prestigious range. The customers we are currently supplying, might not be included in the area you can cover.

Commission is market related.

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: August 27, 2018.

SAFLIA enquiries: Tel 0800SAFLIA * Email * Website

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