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The South African Retail-Clothing, Textile, Footwear and Leather (R-CTFL) Value Chain Masterplan has brought optimism and delight to many women in rural Keates Drift in Msinga, KwaZulu-Natal. The area is one of the poorest in South Africa. Since its shoe factory closed its doors 26 years ago, it left 3000 families without any source of income, now it is slowly building its way up in the clothing and textile sector.
In an effort to reduce the unemployment rate and poverty in the area, Ms Lelly Mntungwa (42) started to empower the Msinga community through job creation and skills capacitation. Mntungwa later established Msinga Clothing Factory in 2016 to further her ambition to train, upskill and employ the youth and women from the area who had no economically tradable skills.
The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) afforded Mntungwa a training opportunity to China to be trained in Clothing and Textile, including Cotton Processing in Minjiang University, in Fuzhou, China.
Msinga Clothing Factory, which employs 100 women on site, is currently making garments for the Foschini Group, Mr Price, and Ackermans. Mntungwa has since been nominated by HWSETA to mentor other projects in the rural areas of South Africa.
According to the Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry, and Competition, Nomalungelo Gina, the South African R-CTFL Value Chain Master Plan to 2030 is focused on actions of all stakeholders and mechanisms to monitor its implementation so that “we are able to improve and grow the CTFL sector – thereby creating meaningful employment and socio-economic development.”