A National Perspective: The South African Footwear Industry
South Africa has a well established footwear industry, both in terms of manufacturing and the importation and distribution of global brands. Locally the industry incorporates nearly 120 manufacturers under the umbrella of the Southern African Footwear and Leather Industries Association and National Bargaining Council, while another 60 small, medium and microenterprises operate under less formal structures. Kwa-Zulu Natal is the predominant producing province (with around 60%) followed by the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga.
About The South African Footwear and Leather Export Council (SAFLEC)
The South African Footwear and Leather Export Council (SAFLEC) is the official voice for exporters of footwear manufacturers and allied activities in South Africa.
SAFLEC is officially appointed by the South African government to promote, facilitate and export South Africa’s footwear and allied industries to international markets.
SAFLEC represents approximately 138 companies across the country, with an annual production of around 50 million pairs of footwear. Major export markets include neighbouring Africa and other exports to USA, UK and Australia as well. Africa is still the major destination region for footwear exports, accounting for more than 70% of total exports.
SAFLEC’s primary role is to facilitate trade enquiries and ensure that they are channelled to relevant manufacturers. There are initiatives currently in progress, in association with the Department of Trade and Industry, to extend the scope of SAFLEC to include other associated sectors, such as the General Goods sector, which covers belts and handbags amongst others.
The footwear industry in South Africa manufactures a wide range of products including safety and protective footwear, gumboots, men and women’s formal and casual footwear, school shoes, slippers, sandals, ballet shoes and children’s shoes.
South Africa also plays a leading role in the design of footwear for children by ensuring that the Podiatry Association of South Africa endorses these products. This is the result of progressive research that has been conducted and applied to the design and construction of footwear, particularly for school shoes.
Regarding social compliance, it is important to note that all members of SAFLEC are fully compliant with labour legislation in South Africa. This ensures that employment practices are compatible with the ILO mandate of decent work and that there are no child labour infringements.
15 Cedar Park, 21 Quarry Park Place
Riverhorse Valley, Durban
FOS Investments strives to provide excellent service and top
quality products, which is why the sourcing of factories that
maintain a high standard is a top priority for us. We have a
20 year relationship with China and we have found factories
that keep up these high standards, thus giving our customers
the quality they are paying for. The quality of products coming
from China has been on a steady rise over the years, though we
also support a host of up and coming local factories as well.