Government Strategy of incorporating the Small Medium Macro Enterprises (SMMEs) into the main stream economy is bearing fruits. This is the message that the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, conveyed during his visit to the manufacturers and suppliers of Watson Shoes, a division of Bolton Footwear in Oudtshoorn and Great Brak River areas in George, the Western Cape.
Bolton Footwear factory had invited Davies to come and see the successful establishment of the eleven SMMEs that manufacture and supply footwear component to the factory. The owners of these SMMEs used to be employed by Bolton Footwear, and during the restructuring process of the company employees were encouraged to establish their own enterprises which now work with Bolton Footwear through the dti’s.
Clothing and Textile Competitiveness Programme (CTCP) Cluster programme. The cluster programme is assisting the SMMEs to have a long term sustainability and growth.
Minister Davies was impressed with the fact that these SMMEs have created employment of approximately 650 people. He also said that he was happy to see that Bolton Footwear has successfully established the cluster which facilitates the integration of these SMMEs into the main stream economy.
‘This is in line with the dti strategy in the development of SMMEs as the department encourages the symbiotic relationships between bigger companies such as Bolton Footwear and smaller companies. The bigger companies assist with the transfer of skills, development of real capacity of enterprises and I think we have seen good example of here. All this is against the background of the footwear industry as a whole as a whole,’ he said.
Minister Davies said through the dti’s Competitiveness Improvement Programme Schem, these SMMEs have managed to expand and ensure the survival of their businesses.
‘Trade and Industry supports local manufacturing global competitiveness and innovation that is why we introduced the Competitiveness Improvement Programme Scheme. Other manufacturers should take advantage of the government incentives like Bolton did. Lastly, the future looks bright for local manufacturing and the dti is 100% behind the industry,’ added Davies.
Rudolph Van der Merwe of Dormadeals Forty Six cc who employs twenty two permanent employees and thirty one contractors said he is happy to work with Watson and to be able to create employment. Van der Merwe thanked the dti’s Competitiveness Improvement Programme Scheme, which made it possible for the SMMEs to expand the way they have. “All these machines you see here, is because of the dti”, said content Van der Merwe.
Chief Executive Officer of Watson Shoes Mr Johan Kriel said Bolton footwear said so far they have received R20m from the dti’s Competitiveness Improvement Programme Scheme.
“With the allocations from the scheme, we have upgraded our technology and we are looking for the next allocation which we will focus on the upgrade of the design capability and a full 3D Cards system,’ said Kriel.
He added that these technology upgrades will reduce production down time, increase operator productivity, reduce product to market lead times, and unlock various other efficiencies and savings.
Issued by: Department of Trade and Industry