South Africa will not employ World Trade Organization rules in restricting China's growing flow of cheap imports, according to Trade Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa.

The South African government believes that, despite pressure to use WTO safeguards in efforts to protect its textile industry, safeguards are not a suitable course of action.

Mpahlwa said the country is considering other alternatives such as reducing import tariffs on yarn and other raw materials to fight the rise in Chinese imports, which reportedly caused the loss of 35,000 clothing and textile jobs there last year.

China's textile exports to South Africa jumped 88 per cent between 2003 and 2004, South Africa's trade and industry department said.