Job losses in the Southern African textile, clothing and leather industries appear to be slowing, with latest figures suggesting government support and a union campaign to lift local procurement appear to be paying off.

A report tabled at the national executive committee meeting of the Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers' Union (SACTWU) shows job losses have continued to decline over the last four years.

The union said the number of jobs lost had dropped by 66% between 2010 and 2013. In 2010, a total of 10,119 jobs were lost, with this almost halving to 5,338 jobs lost in 2011. Another 5,330 jobs went in 2012, falling sharply to 3,416 last year.

As part of its Save Jobs campaign, the union has secured a number of local procurement deals, the latest of which is for the Cape Town International Jazz Festival. Government initiatives to help the sector include the Department of Trade and Industry's Competitiveness Improvement Programme.

Expert analysis

Prospects for the Textile and Clothing Industry in South Africa, December 2013

Prospects for the Textile and Clothing Industry in South Africa, December 2013

The textile and clothing industry in South Africa is a relatively small sector within the country's economy. However, it has the potential to be a significant employer within the manufacturing sector....read more