KZN companies hope continental exhibition will put them on spotlight

Intra-African Trade Fair

KwaZulu-Natal-based companies are enthusiastic that Africa’s premier trade exhibition taking place in Durban next week will put them on the spotlight and offer new markets opportunities that they can take advantage of.

According to the Executive Director of the South African Footwear and Leather Export Council representing over 250 companies, Ms Nerisha Jairaj, the trade fair offers them an opportunity to showcase their innovation and capabilities. She adds that the show is a vehicle for showcasing products and negotiating orders.

The export council will be exhibiting inside the national pavilion amongst one of the more than 80 South African companies supported by government to showcase their products and services at the second edition of the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) that will take place from 15-21 November 2021.

More than a thousand companies from across Africa are expected to exhibit their products at the trade fair, and thousands of visitors are expected to pass through the turnstiles of Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre to see the best of what the continent has to offer.

“We are excited about the opportunity offered by the trade fair to interact and have meaningful conversations that can lead to mutual benefits with other African countries and importantly find ways for two-way trade. A good example is us importing cotton from Kenya and Kenyans also importing other products from us rather than importing it from other continents,” says Jairaj.

The export council facilitates the growth of exports of South African manufactured leather footwear, handbags, belts and other associated products thereby increasing the growth in the number of exporters.

The Director of Zan Zan Décor, a home-furnishing manufacturer based in Pietermaritzburg, Ms Phindile Mkhize, says Zan Zan Décor is ready to be Africa’s next leading supplier of African traditional designs. She adds that she is ready to market her new range of products to other businesspeople and visitors from different African countries.  

Mkhize’s company, which has been in the business for almost ten years, manufacturers traditional Zulu hats, leather mats, wire bowls, beaded dolls, cushions and ottomans. 

“The trade fair will present new market access for us and create an opportunity of sealing deals that will be of mutual benefits and enable us to create employment opportunities, it will further afford us favourable chance to penetrate the continental market. We are looking to secure the services of distributors, agents and retailers for our range of products. We also want to educate the market about our proudly South African products,” says Mkhize.

The owner of Royalty Hides and Décor Division of Royalty AgriBiz, Ms Fatima Cele  says she will be showcasing products made from hides, rugs, coasters, cushion, and some furniture pieces. She says that she is hoping the show will provide access to new markets and exposure of their products.  

“The idea is to try getting as many orders of our products as possible, and importantly to find counterparts from other countries and see what synergies we can put together,” says Cele.

According to the Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ms Nomalungelo Gina, the South African government financially supports Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in particular, to participate in international exhibitions such as the IATF201 as part of its efforts to promote industrialisation, exports, job creation and economic growth.

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