TFG opens Prestige clothing factory in Joburg designed for the hearing-impaired workforce


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Thanks to TFG’s involvement with Proudly SA, a connection was established with the St Vincent school for the deaf.

  • TGF’s new Prestige garment factory in Johannesburg has been specially designed for a hearing-impaired workforce.
  • The first group of elders learners from St Vincent’s School for the Deaf will complete their vocational training at the factory this month and another group will complete theirs next year.
  • Over the past five years, TFG has worked with the government to strategically create a diverse and agile local supply chain to reduce reliance on China and other international suppliers.

Fashion and lifestyle retailer TFG has officially opened its latest Prestige clothing factory in Johannesburg, specially designed for a hearing-impaired workforce.

Thanks to TFG’s involvement with Proudly SA, a link was established with the St Vincent School for the Deaf in 2019. The school had many learners completing their studies, but were subsequently unable to find employment. . TFG has therefore joined forces with Fiber Processing and Manufacturing SETA and the Thandeka Vocational Education Trust to train graduates from St Vincent’s school. Prestige clothing from TFG, Bidvest and Berzacks have teamed up to provide a modern working environment.

The first batch of 23 learners will complete an apprenticeship in manufacturing in October 2021. 24 more learners will complete their apprenticeship in 2022 and a third group could be enrolled next year. So far this year, TFG has appointed more than 100 unemployed disabled people to apprenticeship programs across the company.

This is part of TFG’s desire to create jobs and develop local manufacturing. The newly launched factory is one of five Prestige Clothing factories, making it the largest local clothing manufacturer in South Africa, and with a total of 2,470 permanent employees.

Over the past five years, TFG has worked with the government to strategically create a diverse and agile local supply chain to reduce reliance on China and other international suppliers and increase the products produced. locally for its retail brands.

Five years ago, for example, over 80% of all TFG goods came from the East. Currently, locally made textiles provide 37% and this figure is expected to increase over the next few years. “Many people with disabilities still face barriers when it comes to employment opportunities. Improving skills and creating local jobs for them was an area of ​​particular interest to TFG. [Africa] over the past few years, ”said Graham Choice, Managing Director of TFG Merchandise Supply Chain, in a statement regarding the new plant launched in Johannesburg.

Due to the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on consumers, retail sales in the South African clothing and textile industry fell 6.9% overall in 2020, according to Stats SA. The clothing, textiles, footwear and leather retail master plan, which was signed by the government and local retailers in 2019, is one way the government is trying to give manufacturers a boost. local.

Its implementation began in 2020 and aims to increase the proportion of locally produced products sold in stores from 44% (in 2018) to 65% by 2030. Manufacturers are committed to increasing productivity and investing in production, while the organized workforce has accepted flexible work schedules.

TFG, for example, introduced a “quick response” retail model that would allow popular clothing to be quickly made or adjusted in season.

Another problem facing the local clothing manufacturing industry is that of clothing illegally imported into the country. Imported clothing, for example, is declared at a value much lower than its production value at source. This has the effect of reducing tax revenues for the fiscus and unfairly pricing imported products below the cost of local production, thus driving out local industry.

It is estimated that in 2019, garments with an export value of R35.9 billion were imported into South Africa at a reported cost of R27.8 billion, an underreporting of 23%. .

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