The South African government is committed to stimulating the growth of the country’s furniture industry in order to ensure that it contributes maximally in creating jobs and growing the country’s economy.
This was said by the Director of Forestry Based Industries at the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), Ms Tafadzwa Nyanzunda.
She was speaking to key stakeholders who attended the consultative workshop of the Furniture Industry Master Plan that was hosted by the dti and the South Africa Furniture Initiative (SAFI) in White River, Mpumalanga today.
The workshop was part of the process that the dti and the South Africa Furniture Initiative (SAFI) have embarked upon to obtain inputs from industry experts as part of an initiative to develop the country’s Furniture Industry Master Plan.
The purpose of the master plan is to grow and protect the South African furniture industry, as well as to promote industrial development in the sector.
“This Is one of the sectors that have been identified for job creation, economic growth and addressing inequality.
“Unfortunately the industry has lost its competitiveness, is facing challenge of imports, and some companies are struggling to survive.
“But the South African government, together with the industry is turning things around and bringing the sector to growth trajectory. Labour, government and private sector are all behind the sector and are working together to grow this sector. Government is committed right from the top to make this sector work,” said Nyanzunda.
She added that the master plan approach was targeted at the entire value-chain of the furniture industry in order to stimulate production and sales growth, employment, competitiveness, investment, transformation and exports.
“We started the process of putting together the master plan in August last year. We have already produced a situational analysis based on preliminary research that the department commissioned.
“We are now consulting all the stakeholders in order to get their views and ideas that will assist us generate tangible, practical solutions and interventions that will turn the industry around and take it to a higher level of sustainable growth,” said Nyanzunda.
She reiterated that the master plan will cut across the entire industry value-chain and will include manufacturers, raw material suppliers, retailers, and consumers.
The dti will hold the last two consultative workshops in Gauteng tomorrow and the Eastern Cape on Thursday.
CAPTION: The Director of Forestry Based Industries at the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), Ms Tafadzwa Nyanzunda addressing stakeholders in White River, Mpumalanga.