SA leather sector development initiative
Government investigation nears completion
PRETORIA (SA) – The DTI’s investigation into the leather industry is nearing completion, but it will still be “at least another 2 to 3 months” before its findings are released, according to Jay Irkhede, director: footwear & leather, in the DTI’s clothing, textiles, footwear & leather directorate.
“The majority of issues have been resolved,” he said. “We have consulted with 30 stakeholders, including SHALC, JALI and the Red Meat Industry Forum. We have arrived at some amicable agreements that most people will agree on.”
One of those is that the idea of placing an export levy on sheep- (mainly) and goatskins has been dropped.
“It’s not feasible currently to put a restriction on the export of skins,” he said. “This year, we plan to embark on a project to develop pipelines.”
Meanwhile, the DTI plans to launch a “Communal Skins & Hides Beneficiation Project” as part of its leather sector development initiative.
The 2 main aims of the project would be to train rural people to improve animal husbandry, slaughtering, flaying and curing to increase the value of their hides and skins, and to encourage them to sell their hides and skins to established tanneries.
“The beneficiation project objectives were discussed by the DTI with different stakeholders and we had 2 meetings with SHALC’s chairman in preparation for implementation,” said Jay Irkhede, director: footwear & leather, in the DTI’s clothing, textiles, footwear & leather directorate.
“The DTI has furnished an official letter of intent to SHALC requesting it to invite relevant stakeholders to take part in a workshop to discuss the implementation of the project, and it has requested SHALC to involve other associations from organised agriculture, the red meat industry, and the Department of Agriculture, in the project.
“The DTI plans to identify 3 champion tanneries, in different provinces, to take part in the first phase of project implementation.
“The date of the workshop will be jointly announced later.”
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