The COSATU-affiliated Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) has concluded a ground-breaking tripartite Framework Agreement which may result in the free emergency donation and distribution of significant amounts of clothing, textile, footwear and leather (CTFL) products, previously seized at ports of entry by the South African Revenue Services (SARS) for customs contraventions, to victims of the recent floods in our country’s KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Free State and North West provinces.

This first-ever Framework Agreement of its kind was concluded in mid-May 2022.

Practical implementation commenced last week with the pilot distribution of 1600 blankets to flood victims at shelters in eThekwini in KwaZulu-Natal.

This Framework Agreement was concluded mostly between signatories of the Retail, Clothing, Textile, Footwear & Leather (R-CTFL) Masterplan. Signatories include SACTWU, clothing retail signatories to the Masterplan, the South African Apparel Association (SAAA), the Apparel & Textiles Association of South Africa (ATASA), the Apparel Manufacturers of South Africa (AMSA), the Textile Federation of South Africa (TEXFED), the South African Footwear & Leather Export Council (SAFLEC), the National Union of Leather & Allied Workers (NULAW), the Department of Trade, Industry, and Competition (the dtic) and SARS.

The clothing retailer signatories are the National Clothing Retail Federation (NCRF), representing Mr Price Group (MRPG), the Foschini Group (TFG), Truworths, Woolworths, Pick ‘n Pay, Cotton On, Cape Union Mart and Queenspark. Additional retailer signatories include Pepkor, Superbalist and Retailability.

In terms of the main provisions of this Framework Agreement, SARS-confiscated CTFL products will be released and distributed to flood victims in a tightly controlled manner.

The Framework Agreement further provides for the following:

• the need to mitigate possible market disruptions, corruption and threat to jobs that will undermine local manufacturing if appropriate steps and adequate care are not instituted in the rollout of this emergency donation; and

• a record of the disbursements of all goods to victims will be kept and there will be full transparency of all the disbursements.

A Governance Task Team, which includes SACTWU, will oversee practical implementation of this innovative Framework Agreement.

The terms of reference of this Governance Task Team are to “… approve the goods to be released, the quantum to be released, the priority releases… as well clear re-sale prevention measures”.

SACTWU has initiated and concluded this new Framework Agreement as a determined effort to contribute concretely towards the alleviation of severe hardships which flood victims are experiencing, while simultaneously not undermining our members’ jobs.

Issued by

André Kriel

If further information or comment is required, kindly contact SACTWU’s National Industrial Policy Officer, Mr Etienne Vlok, on office number 0214474570.