Last week, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, Alderman James Vos, congratulated the graduates of the Philippi Village Project who showed off their new knowledge at a fashion show. Read more below:

The skills development programme was undertaken by the Cape Town Fashion Council (CTFC), Philippi Village Business Hub and Thandeka Vocational Education Trust (TVET SA). The design and implementation of the program is a collaborative effort of the tripartite partnership offering training for current or aspiring garment-making business owners. The CTFC is a clothing and textile sector Special Business Partner partially funded by the City; and TVET SA by Fibre Processing and Manufacturing (FP&M) SETA. Philippi Village is an existing social and commercial integrated development hub within the community of Philippi located in the Cape Flats.

‘The fashion industry is the most glamorous and underrated of industries, but equally important. Almost every individual is a direct consumer of fashion, frequenting retailers or flea markets. The industry generates job opportunities for qualified and unqualified, skilled or unskilled people,’ said Alderman Vos.

During the course, the learners were taken through the technicalities of working on sewing machines.

‘I feel greatly inspired by these young women who started this course in March. Many of them had never operated a sewing machine before but thanks to the dedicated instructors at CTFC, and the learners own diligent work, they can now boast about their beautiful handiwork!’ said Alderman Vos.

Besides the practical skills around garment-making, the group also learned about aspects of enterprise management such as costing products, client interactions, and drafting business plans. This empowers the graduates with the skills needed to maintain or grow their businesses.

It also comes at a crucial period as the local clothing and textile industry continues to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Western Cape has the highest concentration of clothing manufacturers in the country and in 2017, the clothing and textile industry contributed R4.4-billion to Cape Town’s export sector.

Simultaneously, South African footwear manufacturing grew at an average annual rate of 10% over the past five years, while leather and footwear exports from South Africa grew by 167% from R1.98-billion to R5.29-billion between 2010 and 2016.

The Philippi Village Project is one of several initiatives in the sector that the City is supporting.

Last month, it was announced that the Mayoral Committee approved funding for the SMME Business Accelerator project, which will see small enterprise manufacturers provided with training and upgrade support to unlock procurement from new retail customers and build new and long-term supply relationships. The SMMEs will then be matched with business opportunities at large retailers.

There is also the Cape Skills and Employment Accelerator Project launched in partnership with the National Skills Fund to create employment opportunities for marginalised youth and women. Under the initiative, the City is contributing R55 million over three years towards training and work placement in companies in the clothing and textile and call centre sectors.

As the country and world emerge from the pandemic, the local industry is poised for renewed growth in 2021 and beyond.

‘Cape Town has a legacy for garment-making that is unmatched in its quality and so it gives me great pleasure that the City is providing a platform to not only keep that legacy alive but to bring fresh talent to the table. This will keep Cape Town at the forefront of design and creativity,’ said Alderman Vos.


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