A conference on the clothing, textile, footwear and leather (CTFL) sectors is being held in South Africa on September 6 and 7, 2017. The point of discussion is the impact of downgrade of South Africa’s debt on its industry and the broader economy. The downgrades by various rating agencies during 2017 (and possible future downgrades) will raise the cost of borrowing for workers, businesses, government and consumers. This will have a negative impact on investments by businesses and on spending by consumers on products made in CTFL factories.
It is feared this could lead to increased factory closures and retrenchments in the CTFL sectors, placing an even greater strain on South Africa and its poor. The country already has high levels of unemployment.
The conference will consider the impact of the downgrades (including of possible future downgrades, especially of local currency debt) and measures to mitigate its impact, including a proper and credible turnaround plan to be formulated immediately and implemented expeditiously.
The event is being attended by 500 delegates, including CTFL factory workers, union officials, factory directors and managers, service providers, government officials, the retail sector, as well as delegates from associated sectors like cotton farming. The whole value chain will be represented.