The Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers' Union (SACTWU) is edging closer to reaching a settlement around its national wage dispute in the clothing sector.

The SACTWU said that four of the six employer associations have provided the union with commitments to settle on its terms, while the remaining two have requested more time to seek a mandate.

SACTWU said that the The Eastern Province Clothing Manufacturers' Association (EPCMA), The Free State and Northern Cape Clothing Manufacturer's Association (FSNCCMA), The Transvaal Clothing Manufacturers' Association (TCMA), and The Coastal Clothing Manufacturers' Association (CCMA) have all agreed to the new contracts.

Meanwhile, The South African Clothing Manufacturers' Association (SACMA) and the Cape Clothing Association (CCA) have sought more time to seek a fresh mandate.

SACTWU has given them an extension until Friday (30 August), but emphasised that they have a mandate to strike, with 86% of the 40,000 workers balloted voting in favour of striking.

The union has now called for a special executive meeting of the clothing industry bargaining council for next Monday.

SACTWU has completed its annual negotiations across distribution, textiles and sheltered employment, with wage settlements varying between 7-20%. Sheltered employment saw packages rise 20%, while the others saw wages rise 7-9.5%.