ABN – South Africa has sent 28 of its leather and footwear manufacturers to China to receive training in shoe design and manufacturing techniques.
The three-month training programme was facilitated by the Department of Trade and Industry (dti), which consists of manufacturers from Gauteng, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape.
The dti department has already invested R3.5 billion (US$285 million) in the Clothing and Textiles Competitiveness Programme in the hopes of saving the industry.
Dti Minister Rob Davies said: "The Chinese government has agreed to support the efforts of South African government by contributing to the upgrading of scarce skills in our textile and clothing industry.
"The capacity development programme is part of our efforts to increase the number of skilled entrepreneurs within the leather and footwear sector, in order to enhance the sector's competitiveness.
"The main impact of the programme has been the stabilisation of the sectors, the saving of over 67,000 jobs, and the creation of a significant number of new, decent and sustainable employment opportunities."