The Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers' Union (SACTWU) is urging the government to buy more locally-made apparel and textile goods.

The call comes after a report alleged the Gauteng Provincial Department of Health had imported clothing and textile products for its hospitals.

This, SACTWU says, goes against government procurement regulations which require clothing and textile products bought by government to be manufactured locally. 

SACTWU has now urged the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to participate in an imminent tender for clothing and textile products, which closes on Friday (8 November), and is apparently worth ZAR180m (US$17.6m)

The trade association said the DTI "has the requisite knowledge of the industry to guide adjudication in the correct manner, and to ensure that the job creation, industrialisation, social and health multipliers of this tender are maximised".

"This tender should and can do much to support the local textile and clothing manufacturing industry, and workers within the industry, if the department adheres to the regulations and ensures that all of these products are locally made," SACTWU said in a statement.

"However if the provincial department imports these goods again, not only will it be breaking the law and undermining the job creation efforts of national government, but it will also compound the crises of unemployment and poverty in South Africa."