R/€ = 15.26Change: -0.01
R/$ = 14.41Change: -0.03
Au 1057.95 $/ozChange: 0.07
Pt 835.50 $/ozChange: 0.00
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?

And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Letters About Us
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
Oct 14, 2011

Local support can assist in countering imports

© Reuse this

Adecline in local work apparel manufac- turing owing to a rise in labour costs in recent years has led to an influx of imports from the East, says uniform solutions and management specialist Kit Group CEO Joe Pereira.

“The local work attire industry remains in a state of stress, as it has been for the past few years. However, we are optimistic and believe that the industry can find inno- vative ways of dealing with this reality,” he adds.

Pereira says that, through capital investment, offering added services and sup- porting local manufacturers, work wear suppliers can contribute to countering imports from the East and empower local industry.

“The closure of many local fabric mills has forced Kit Group to import fabrics. Nonetheless, we try to support local manufacturing as far as possible, but this is becoming difficult to maintain,” he notes.

Although imported work garments offer the benefit of lower costs, it can be overshadowed by inconsistency in supply and quality. Pereira says, to better control these factors, infrastructure and monitoring systems have to be put in place beyond local borders.

“Supervision is needed to ensure cloth and garment manufacturers adhere to the standard requirements, but industry role-players have been reluctant to imple- ment such systems, as it increases the price of garments,” he explains.

Consequently, some importers do not follow quality assurance steps and are able to offer cheaper products; therefore, local manufacturers can not be price competitive.

Pereira says Kit Group seeks to improve its competitiveness by expanding its service offering, with its custom-developed vendor management system (VMS) for security applications.

He notes that the system offers added benefits in terms of budget control and cost efficiency, as it monitors product life and demand patterns, besides other aspects.

“This Web-based application is a service offering that acts as a cost-effective business management tool. It enables the end-user to procure, manage and control its uniform budget in totality,” Pereira says.

This makes the company’s locally manufactured garments more appealing, despite these being more expensive than their imported counterparts, he states.

The Kit Group developed the system and implemented it into its service offering about three years ago.

“The system adds a totally different dimension to our service and we have received positive feedback from clients,” Pereira notes.
Kit Group marketing executive Charl Cilliers tells Engineering News that the system is beneficial to both manufacturers and clients, as the staff turnover in the security industry is exceptionally high.

Owing to the industry also having an unpredictable demand pattern, companies have to reorder constantly and unexpectedly, and sizes always differ. This can be a complex process, especially in bigger firms.

“The VMS simplifies this process. A database is created, which enables us to determine how much stock we should keep and the amount for each size. This allows for consistency of supply, which is cardinal to this industry that sometimes has unpredictable demand. It also assists the clients in knowing how much they need and improves budget control,” he says.

By monitoring the product life of uniforms, the system allows companies to identify areas of wear and determine the correct uniform for certain applications so that it lasts longer. This relates to cost- efficient production.

In terms of development, Cilliers says the company hopes to expand the system beyond the security industry. “We are also looking to use the system to better monitor uniform returns and find a more sustainable solution for old uniforms.”


“There is a move towards ensuring that employees are dressed according to quality standards and issued the correct safety tools,” he notes.

Another trend in recent years has been an increase in demand for personalised, custom-made uniforms.

“Companies are becoming more independent in their image and identification, which requires more custom-made garments,” Pereira adds.

Demand for Skills

He says the demand for education in the South African work wear industry is paramount.

A general view within industry is that garments can be bought and sold without a proper understanding of the fabric features and specifications.

“The industry is severely under- estimated in terms of profes- sional skill requirements, and has not been provided with the high-standard fabric and manu- facturing knowledge that it requires.

“Capital investment, skills, industry knowledge and technical innovation are, now more than ever, required to maintain a continuous supply chain,” he adds.

Pereira believes the need for an increased focus on proper education and training, as well as good structures, has led to the biggest potential for growth in the industry lying within skills development.


With a fixed presence in both the South African and international market, Kit Group not only aims to expand locally, but also further into Africa.

“The opportunities in South Africa have not been exhausted yet,” Pereira notes.

Across the border, the com- pany is currently active in Angola, Mozambique, Namibia and Botswana.

However, he says expansion into Africa has to be executed with caution, considering the local political climate and logistics and delivery costs.

Further, finding the right partners that understand the industry also poses a challenge.

“We are looking for the right partnerships before we move further into Africa. However, to do this, we first have to motivate organic growth in our existing partnerships to strengthen our logistics and distribution structures. This will enable us to create new alliances in other Southern African Development Com- munity countries,” he says.

Cilliers adds that Kit Group also hopes to grow its market share in the corporate, security and safety industries.

“Ultimately, we do not just want to be leaders in these segments, but we would like to expand into other areas as well,” he says.

Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Work Apparel News
Caption: SURVIVE-ARC SWITCHING SUIT Charnaud's FR Range is IEC, SAB-S and NFPA approved
Personal protective clothing (PPC) manufacturer Charnaud has embarked on an initiative to educate people on the dangers of combustible dust. “Considering the history of combustible dust, one finds that nearly 300 explosions have injured or killed more than 800...
DROVISION GOGGLES. Magnet has added personal protective equipment to its product range
Electrical solutions consultant Magnet was appointed Southern African distributor for Dromex personal protection equipment (PPE) in April this year. MD Brian Howarth said that Magnet had recognised an urgent need in the electricity industry for increased safety for...
DUAL BIOMETRICS SCANNER Black Ginger 48 has introduced biometric scanners at its on-site stores
Personal protective equipment (PPE) manufacturer and distributor Black Ginger 48 has implemented facial recognition technology at two of its clients’ on-site stores to counter identity fraud and reduce theft. Black Ginger 48 GM Jevan Malan tells Engineering News that...
Latest News
French conglomerate Bollore may have to halt work on the Niger to Benin section of its giant West Africa rail project after a rival company won a court order to stop it going ahead. The dispute concerns rival rail schemes in the area.
A week ahead of the second annual gathering of the Forum on China–Africa Cooperation (Focac), in Johannesburg, the JSE is rolling out the proverbial red carpet for Chinese investors looking to Africa’s largest bourse for possible investment opportunities, calling...
The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) applied for leave to appeal on Friday against the Western Cape High Court judgment that set aside the approvals that would enable it to toll sections of the N1 and N2 freeways in Cape Town. This prompted the...
Recent Research Reports
Water 2015: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2015 Report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context but also in the African and global context in terms of supply and demand, water stress and insecurity, and access to water and sanitation, besides others.
Input Sector Review: Pumps 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2015 Input Sector Review on Pumps provides an overview of South Africa’s pumps industry with particular focus on pump manufacture and supply, aftermarket services, marketing strategies, local and export demand, imports, sector support, investment...
Liquid Fuels 2015: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2015 Report examines these issues in the context of South Africa’s business environment; oil and gas exploration; fuel pricing; the development of the country’s biofuels industry; the logistics of transporting liquid fuels; and...
Road and Rail 2015: A review of South Africa's road and rail sectors (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2015 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail infrastructure and network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and...
Defence 2015: A review of South Africa's defence sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Coal 2015 report examines South Africa’s coal industry with regards to the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local demand, export sales and coal logistics, projects being undertaken by the large and smaller participants in the...
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
This Week's Magazine
The BMW Group will invest R6-billion at BMW Group South Africa’s (BMW SA’s) Rosslyn plant to produce the next-generation X3 sports-activity vehicle (SAV) for the local and export markets. Rosslyn will continue production of the current 3 Series through its lifecycle,...
The lack of consequences for poor performance and transgressions on the part of contractors remains a significant hurdle to tackling South Africa’s service delivery challenges, delegates heard at the Consulting Engineers South Africa Infrastructure Indaba, on...
City of Ekurhuleni executive mayor Mondli Gungubele earlier this month officially named the city’s bus rapid transit (BRT) system, Harambee.
NICK CHRISTODOULOU As about 58% of data stored by organisations is dark, they must identify this dark data to expose risks and valuable information
About 58% of unstructured data stored by companies is dark data, which means that the value or regulatory importance of the data has not been determined. Subsequently, most of the stored data add costs, rather than increasing revenue or reduce regulatory risks, says...
BRIAN VERWEY Effective management, review and administration of non-core elements can improve business operations and increase revenue and decrease unforeseen risks
Effective logistics, import/export and manufacturing consulting services require detailed industry knowledge and experience, but can add significant value to these industries by providing expert advice on various technical elements in their value chains, says...
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks
Subscribe Now for $96 Close
Subscribe Now for $96