CHAIRMAN’S REPORT

2023 REPORT
2022 REPORT
2021 REPORT
2020 REPORT
2019 REPORT
2018 REPORT
2017 REPORT
2016 REPORT
2015 REPORT
Good afternoon and a warm welcome to our 21st Annual General Meeting. Firstly, on behalf of the Board we thank you for your trust, encouragement and support of SAFLEC and its Management. As I reflect on my term as Chair I am still reminded of the devastation of the pandemic, the dire consequences for the country that already faces many challenges with weak economic fundamentals. I am proud of the resilience our local Industry has shown in the face of severe hardship and our ability to adapt to an ever-changing operational environment.

Many manufacturers alike started the 2022 financial year encouraged and ready to rebuild post pandemic with the economy showing some signs of recovery as many returned to work and on the back of relaxed restrictions. No doubt we could not have predicted that in the latter half, we would be contending with almost unprecedented economic and geopolitical uncertainty, with looming threats of a potential global recession.

With this backdrop and a deteriorating outlook which has been further compounded by the energy crisis, I am proud of the resilience the industry has shown as evidenced by the export figures which are nearly back to pre-pandemic levels. I believe this is a testament to the prudent management of the team supported by the resilient manufacturing base.

COMMENTARY ON PERFORMANCE

For the year under review Exports to the rest of the World excluding BELN grew by 4,5% from a volume perspective to 3,404,000 pairs in 2022 according to the SARS stats. Headline Rand exports grew by 20.5% from R464,000,000 to R559,000,000 year on year.

As required by the dtic Export Division to which SAFLEC reports to, we are required to report all exports including South African footwear exports in BELN countries. Below are the recent stats received on exports to BELN. At the time of writing this report source stats from SARS indicated an error in footwear exports into Lesotho which appear to be overstated by +/- 9,000,000 pairs. This query has been escalated to SARS for verification and a voucher of correction was sent through and below are the current indications on footwear exports into the SACU region.

Based on the declining performance of what should be our most competitive export market segment as a manufacturing sector there is an urgent need to shift the focus of our export initiatives. SAFLEC’S Export growth strategy for the 2023 Financial year must be more focused on the continent. This segment is where the bulk of our footwear exports are concentrated. The Board and the Executive Management will be rolling out several Africa focused market penetration strategies in a bid to create much-needed export growth for our manufacturers.

FINANCIALS

Marwick & Co were the appointed auditors for the period March 2023 financial year end, and they were satisfied with the audit for the year under review. The SAFLEC Board is pleased with the quarterly updates of financial reporting and the meticulous set of accounts and audit reports. Detailed audited financials are available with a summary contained in the Annual report. We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the efforts of SAFLIA for the steady partial funding to SAFLEC from the industry Tech Fund despite the challenging operational environment that has characterized the last 3 years.

CORPORATE GOVERNANNCE AND SUSTAINABILITY

SAFLEC is fully committed to assisting local manufacturers engage in the sustainable manufacturing of exports and upholding the highest standards of ethics and corporate governance practices. The Board ensures accountability which is spear-headed by the Executive director while appreciating that strategy risk, performance and sustainability are inseparable.

IN CLOSING

The future remains uncertain albeit Government initiatives to offer Support to Industry and Export Councils like us. The uncertainty is further compounded by the prevailing global economic pressures notably increasing risks of stagflation. Locally, electricity supply shortages pose a binding constraint to our export growth. Nevertheless, we are encouraged by Industry’s recovery to pre-pandemic levels. This affirms the resilience of our manufacturing base which continues to put us in good stead as an Industry. Whilst the local economic outlook is a cause for greater concern, we remain cautiously optimistic about the growth prospects on the continent, which is accustomed to adversity.

TAVONGA GONYORA

Chairman

Mr Gonyora is a senior fashion retail and manufacturer merchandise & marketing professional with several years management experience and a strong track record implementing robust and profitable retail merchandise strategic and tactical plans.

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to SAFLEC’S first in person AGMafter two years of virtual engagement; it has been a trying period for the Industry as a whole. March 2022 marked the two-year anniversary since the advent of the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic. It is prudent to take time to reflect and assess how the environment we operate in has changed. It is incumbent on us, as business leaders, to take cognisance of the complications that have emerged particularlyfor our Durban-based members, following the July unrest of 2021 which was followed by the recent floods to acknowledge, accept and work to resolve these epredicaments, without relinquishing the longer-term aims and ambitions of society.It is through the combined efforts of Industry along with key stakeholders such as the dtic, SAFLIA, EFLC and civil society that we have faced adversity head on and remained afloat. Around the world throughout this period, business, supply chains and operating models have been tested. The strength and robustness of a business can only be truly evaluated during times of volatility and disruption and when organisations such as SAFLEC emerge with strength from tough times,it suggests a model and an Industry that is working.

COMMENTARY ON PERFORMANCE

When looking at the historical figures below Table 1.1, export figures excluding(BELN) for the period 2018 to 2021, Industry exports showed a negative growth pattern with 2020 being our lowest figure to date. This was mainly attributed to extended lock downs which resulted in factory and retail closures in both domestic and international markets. The easing of restrictions saw an 11, 8% growth in exports for the period 2020 to 2021, 2 915 369 pairs to 3 257 115 pairs.SAFLEC’s main objective is to create platforms to aid Industry to return back to pre-pandemic sales volumes.

Industry Exports to our neighbouring SACU countries based on the historical sales data as reflected in Table 1.2 from 2018 to 2021 continue to show consistent growth in volumes and sales value. The year under review, 2020 to 2021 saw a growth of 9.7% from 11 115 000 pairs to 12 198 000 pairs, which is a shift in the right direction.

As part of our overall growth strategy, SAFLEC has looked at the top 20 export markets listed in the Table 1.3 with a detailed breakdown of value share of exports (excl. BELN) as a focused guide to aid in market penetration for our members. The numbers are a clear indicator that the various trade agreements, currently in place, such as SACU agreement and the SADC preferential free trade agreement play a pivotal role in promoting South African Exports to the block. With the signing of the African Free Trade Agreement, SAFLEC will be focusing on creating market access channels for our members in our continued bid to grow exports and maximize on Industries competitive advantage.

Key observations

Zimbabwe is first among the top 20 markets for South African produced exports (at 7.8% of 2021 exports in value terms) - representing an absolute increase of 171,640 pairs (from 900,870 pairs in 2020 to 1,072,510 for 2021), followed by Mozambique, Malawi and Nigeria.
The USA is the largest non-African export destination for 2021, followed by Australia and Singapore. The UAE has seen the largest decline with 87,647 pairs, followed by Angola, Ivory Coast, Tanzania and Mauritius.

GOVERNMENT

As a section 21 entity, SAFLEC has fulfilled the requirements set out for export councils. Requisite reporting has been kept up to date and financials have been fully audited. In the year under review, through the challenging times, SAFLEC has received a great deal of support for its members from the various arms of Government which are detailed in the Executive Directors report. The South African economy, which was already under pressure prior to the pandemic, experienced a contraction in GDP of some 7% in 2020 which we have seen a rebound due to combined efforts from Government and the private sector off this low rate, translating to a growth of 4.9% in 2021, from which Industry is, and will continue to benefit.

FINANCIALS

Marwick & Co were the appointed auditors for the period March 2022 financial year end and they were satisfied with the audit for the year under review. Once again on behalf of the SAFLEC board we thank Prenisha who continues to keep a meticulous set of accounts and audit reports. Detailed audited financials are available with a summary contained in the AGM report. We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the efforts of SAFLIA for the steady partial funding to SAFLEC from the industry Tech Fund despite the challenging operational environment that has characterized the last 2 years.

SAFLEC TEAM

Nerisha Jairaj, Executive Director of SAFLEC and her team have put in a great deal of man hours and effort as we were forced to explore new ways of working through remote working, at times when there have been risks associated with venturing out. The team ensured that in the midst of adversity, the Industry still remained informed on what was going on beyond our borders and facilitated various workshops and trainings to ensure members remained connected to international and regional markets. With continued support from Industry and the Board, the SAFLEC team will endeavour to ensure organisational mandates continue to be met.

APPRECIATION

With the SAFLEC board's renewed focus on managing risks well teamed with market sentiment returning to a level of normality combined with new proposed strategic interventions there is a degree of comfort that Industries domestic and export growth momentum is set to continue. It has been a privilege to contribute towards this goal with the support of such an experienced team who continue to use their collective leverage, abilities, and capabilities to provide ever increasing and much needed support and assistance to our entire Industry at large. Collectively, this will ensure a better and brighter future for all.

TAVONGA GONYORA

Chairman

Mr Gonyora is a senior fashion retail and manufacturer merchandise & marketing professional with several years management experience and a strong track record implementing robust and profitable retail merchandise strategic and tactical plans.

Good day everybody. Many have been lost due to COVID. Please let’s commence by observing a moment of silence and have the families in our thoughts and prayers. It is my pleasure to welcome you all to SAFLEC’s annual general meeting. This is our 2nd virtual AGM. It is hoped that this format is convenient, and all objectives of our AGM are met. Great turnout – thank you for making time. Your presence is most valued and appreciated. SAFLEC is without doubt a significant, serious, credible and noteworthy organization, representing a large number of footwear, handbag, belts and related manufacturing companies.

SAFLEC’s Vision

  • To contribute to the development of South African Economy, job creation and growth, by encouraging the South African Footwear and allied businesses through export.
  • To offer effective representation and facilitation in the world market.
  • Create professional development programs and forums that enhances/aligns local manufacturers to Global trends.
  •  Enhance exports through promotional activities, by gearing Industry up with the export tools required via orientation and training.

Whilst SAFLEC has successfully grown our emerging exporter base as well as successfully created synergies amongst current manufacturers wewere not fully on trend with international fashion and seasons. To over come this shortfall, we focused on:

  • Engaging international world expert trends analysists to upskill our local manufacturers. (Arsutoria Seminar’s)
  • Pre-event market intelligence including country specific compliance requirements.
  • Ensuring the efficiency of the factories and make sure that they are ready and prepared for international buyer inspection.
  • Encourage the supply chain to be more innovative and supportive to export endeavors.

Another challenge is that with the drive local campaign, concern lies on whether the current exporter base will have the required capacity for export. Strained cash flow due to Covid also hinders this process.

Exports

With an entire year of COVID pandemic interruptions, SAFLEC persevered through innovative virtual interactions with various stakeholders. As per export data obtained, Africa is still our major export destination. These exports are made up predominantly of safety footwear, and school shoes. The high-level export figures are: (details are in the AGM report)

While there has been a drop in total exports of 11% (pairs) and 9% in value, there has been an increase in value exported to the rest of the world. Exports to America grew in value from 4.18 million in 2019 to 7.58 million in 2020 irrespective of COVID. Volume grew from 11 739 to 18 385 pairs. Exports to Europem grew from 6.05 m in value to 9.8 mil in value between 2019 and 2020. Volume grew from 20 thousand to 30 thousand pairs. Exports to UAE grew from 1.57 m in value to 14.79 m in value and volume from 15 956 to 89 351 in pairs.

The work and investment in the past 5 years of trade missions to these regions to break barriers to entry is evident and will only grow. Also important is the total export (including BELN) as a %age of local production 31% (2020) and 28% (2019).

Government

Government is an important partner to SAFLEC. As a Section 21 company and as a part of government requirements of export councils, SAFLEC has complied fully. All reports are submitted, and the financials are fully audited. SAFLEC has ensured that all its deliverables are aligned both to the IPAP as well as the R-CTLF Master Plan. Full details are in the AGM report. We have further ensured our programmes are aligned to the dtic’s implementation of the Re-imagining Industrial Strategy (RIS) mandated by the manifesto of the 6th administration with ten strategic interventions for CTFL sectors focused on scaling up jobs and growth.
The manufacturing industry is relatively stable. Manufacturing has become highly efficient over the last decade, with the ability to maximize both the productivity of the workers and machines. South Africa has world-class infrastructure. It is also actively involved in the development and roll-out of new green technologies. Government support for the industry is growing. Key associations, (SAFLEC and SAFLIA) are here to assist in taking the industry forward in all areas.

Financials

Marwick & Co were the auditors again for the March 2021 financial year end. They were satisfied with the audits. On behalf of the board, I thank Prenisha who has kept a meticulous set of accounts and compiled the reports as required by our Auditors. The detailed audited financials are available. The summarised financial situation is in the AGM report. I will go through them later. The board is satisfied with the income and expenses.

We as SAFLEC would also like to acknowledge the efforts of SAFLIA to ensure steady partial funding stream to SAFLEC, irrespective of the tech fund holiday, from which SAFLEC receives percentage funding.

Staff

Nerisha Jairaj the Executive Director of SAFLEC has been the driving force. Her contribution and performance has yet again been outstanding. During the COVID 19 lockdown she did not stop networking and applying her mind to fulfill her role. On behalf of the board and SAFLEC members I thank Nerisha. With continued support from the Board and SAFLEC’s members, Nerisha will ensure all aims and objectives are met with certainty. Thanks to Priya who drives the eThekwini funded programmes. These programmes as you are aware are for up skilling members. Appreciation to Sarah, Nerisha’ s PA who, I can say makes Nerisha as good as she is.

Conclusion

It has been a very rewarding experience to serve as chairman of the SAFLEC board. I sincerely thank my fellow board members for all your contributions, for attending meetings and helping drive SAFLEC to successfully meet its objective. To the new board members congratulations and wish you well to take SAFLEC, to greater heights.

SANJAY PATTUNDEEN

Director of Caprini Footwear

Born in 1963, Sanjay found Caprini Footwear in 1992. Caprini Footwear (Pty) Ltd is part of the Palm Group of Companies. Although the majority of products are consumed locally, the company is fast increasing export quantities.

It’s my pleasure to welcome you all to SAFLEC’s annual general meeting. Great turnout – thank you for being here. Your presence is most valued and appreciated.

I am delighted to report that the organisation has achieved significant progress over the past 12 months. Not surprisingly the interest in wanting to participate in SAFLEC activities continue to increase. SAFLEC’s main aim is to facilitate growing of exports in Footwear, bag and leather goods sector. Through continuous interaction with various stakeholders, we are able to develop and enhance our export promotion strategy.

As a consequence of this progress, SAFLEC is without doubt a significant, serious, credible and noteworthy organization, representing a large number of footwear, handbag, belts and related manufacturing companies.

Exporting is never an easy task. Especially in a globally competitive industry like ours, however, SAFLEC continues export promotion activities, exposing members to many parts of the world. The SA footwear and Leather good manufacturing industry has been recognised as a stable industry with potential to be a growing global market player. The exhibition costs are understandably high. However, this is a medium to long term investment. Efforts to minimise costs are key and SAFLEC is continuously engaging with stakeholders (Government being the major one) to explore means to minimise costs and maximise return on investment.

Exports
The details are in the annual report. According to figures released by SARS, exports shrunk by 8% in 2018. Some due to the long strike in the industry. In addition, payment issues from Zimbabwe (our largest export destination) discouraged manufacturers to release goods. In attempting to analyse the data obtained from SARS too many inconsistencies surfaced. The integrity of the data is being investigated.

As per export data obtained, Africa is still our major export destination. SAFLEC is increasing its focus on Africa. Lots of research has been done and some valuable information has been compiled. In addition, an industrialisation programme for SADC region is being formulated by Government with participating countries showing keen interest. This regional economic integration process has identified the leather and related value chain products as one of the initial focus areas. It certainly looks promising for SA manufacturers.

Capacity Building
SAFLEC encourages SMME’s to be part of its export initiatives. This is Governments key focus area and they are pushing for us to involve SMME’s. We are persevering, networking and partnering with many institutions to create educational platforms, especially for SMME’s to prepare to deal in the international arena. The Arsutoria workshop is an example. This provided valuable trend information and was hugely successful. Dear members, we urge you to come forth, and participate in similar initiatives. There are competent staff members at SAFLEC, who will be ever so willing to assist.

Our industry is fairly structured and formalised. 3 key associations, SAFLEC, SAFLIA and FLIC are here to assist in taking the industry forward in all areas. Our minds need to be applied so that the 3 associations are optimally functioning for best outcomes for members. A key objective of SAFLEC in the coming year will be to engage with relevant stakeholders to find the best solutions.

eThekwini Saflec Project
The formalisation of this project was concluded in Dec 2018 where the Economic Development and Planning Committee of the eThekwini region agreed to support the footwear and leather industries through targeted interventions stimulating growth and allowing the sector to increase their competitiveness, locally and internationally. SAFLEC is to manage the programmes for the 2018/19/20 &21 financial years.

Government
Government is an important partner to SAFLEC. As a Section 21 company and as a part of government requirements of export councils, SAFLEC has complied fully. All reports are submitted and the financials are fully audited.

Financials
Marwick & Co were the auditors again for the March 2018 financial year end. They were satisfied with the audits. The detailed audited financials are available. The summarised financial situation is in the AGM report. I will go through them later. The board is satisfied with the income and expenses.

Staff
Nerisha Jairaj, the Executive Director of SAFLEC, has been the driving force. Her contribution and performance has once again been outstanding. On behalf of the board and SAFLEC members I thank Nerisha. With continued support from the Board and SAFLEC’s members, Nerisha will ensure all aims and objectives are met with certainty.

After more than 10 years of dedicated service to SAFLEC and the Industry, sadly, we bid farewell to a very dedicated staff member of SAFLEC, as she moved into retirement at the end of May 2019. SAFLEC’s, Louise Pelser has stood the test of time and she leaves a mark of her efforts to help build our industry and exports. We wish her well in her retirement and she will be sorely missed by our team here at SAFLEC.

Prenisha Dukhipersad, who has dedicatedly served as the PA to Executive Director, has taken over Louise’s duties from 1 May 2019. Prenisha has a B.Com degree and the board is confident she will perform the administrative and financial function well. Sarah Thambiran is the newly appointed PA to the Executive Director. SAFLEC thanks you for your kind patience during this transition.

Conclusion
It has been a very rewarding experience to serve as chairman of the SAFLEC board I sincerely thank my fellow board members for all your contributions, for attending meetings and helping drive SAFLEC to successfully meet its objective. To the new board members congratulations and wish you well to take SAFLEC, to greater heights.

SANJAY PATTUNDEEN

Director of Caprini Footwear

Born in 1963, Sanjay found Caprini Footwear in 1992. Caprini Footwear (Pty) Ltd is part of the Palm Group of Companies. Although the majority of products are consumed locally, the company is fast increasing export quantities.

It’s my pleasure to welcome you all to SAFLEC’s annual general meeting. Great turnout – thank you for being here. Your presence is most valued and appreciated.

I am delighted to report that the organisation has achieved significant progress over the past 12 months. Not surprisingly the interest in wanting to participate in SAFLEC activities continue to increase. SAFLEC’s main aim is to facilitate growing of exports in Footwear, bag and leather goods sector. Through continuous interaction with various stakeholders, we are able to develop and enhance our export promotion strategy.

As a consequence of this progress, SAFLEC is without doubt a significant, serious, credible and noteworthy organization, representing a large number of footwear, handbag, belts and related manufacturing companies.

Exporting is never an easy task. Especially in a globally competitive industry like ours, however, SAFLEC continues export promotion activities, exposing members to many parts of the world. The SA footwear and Leather good manufacturing industry has been recognised as a stable industry with potential to be a growing global market player. The exhibition costs are understandably high. However, this is a medium to long term investment. Efforts to minimise costs are key and SAFLEC is continuously engaging with stakeholders (Government being the major one) to explore means to minimise costs and maximise return on investment.

Exports
The details are in the annual report. According to figures released by SARS, exports shrunk by 8% in 2018. Some due to the long strike in the industry. In addition, payment issues from Zimbabwe (our largest export destination) discouraged manufacturers to release goods. In attempting to analyse the data obtained from SARS too many inconsistencies surfaced. The integrity of the data is being investigated.

As per export data obtained, Africa is still our major export destination. SAFLEC is increasing its focus on Africa. Lots of research has been done and some valuable information has been compiled. In addition, an industrialisation programme for SADC region is being formulated by Government with participating countries showing keen interest. This regional economic integration process has identified the leather and related value chain products as one of the initial focus areas. It certainly looks promising for SA manufacturers.

Capacity Building
SAFLEC encourages SMME’s to be part of its export initiatives. This is Governments key focus area and they are pushing for us to involve SMME’s. We are persevering, networking and partnering with many institutions to create educational platforms, especially for SMME’s to prepare to deal in the international arena. The Arsutoria workshop is an example. This provided valuable trend information and was hugely successful. Dear members, we urge you to come forth, and participate in similar initiatives. There are competent staff members at SAFLEC, who will be ever so willing to assist.

Our industry is fairly structured and formalised. 3 key associations, SAFLEC, SAFLIA and FLIC are here to assist in taking the industry forward in all areas. Our minds need to be applied so that the 3 associations are optimally functioning for best outcomes for members. A key objective of SAFLEC in the coming year will be to engage with relevant stakeholders to find the best solutions.

eThekwini Saflec Project
The formalisation of this project was concluded in Dec 2018 where the Economic Development and Planning Committee of the eThekwini region agreed to support the footwear and leather industries through targeted interventions stimulating growth and allowing the sector to increase their competitiveness, locally and internationally. SAFLEC is to manage the programmes for the 2018/19/20 &21 financial years.

Government
Government is an important partner to SAFLEC. As a Section 21 company and as a part of government requirements of export councils, SAFLEC has complied fully. All reports are submitted and the financials are fully audited.

Financials
Marwick & Co were the auditors again for the March 2018 financial year end. They were satisfied with the audits. The detailed audited financials are available. The summarised financial situation is in the AGM report. I will go through them later. The board is satisfied with the income and expenses.

Staff
Nerisha Jairaj, the Executive Director of SAFLEC, has been the driving force. Her contribution and performance has once again been outstanding. On behalf of the board and SAFLEC members I thank Nerisha. With continued support from the Board and SAFLEC’s members, Nerisha will ensure all aims and objectives are met with certainty.

After more than 10 years of dedicated service to SAFLEC and the Industry, sadly, we bid farewell to a very dedicated staff member of SAFLEC, as she moved into retirement at the end of May 2019. SAFLEC’s, Louise Pelser has stood the test of time and she leaves a mark of her efforts to help build our industry and exports. We wish her well in her retirement and she will be sorely missed by our team here at SAFLEC.

Prenisha Dukhipersad, who has dedicatedly served as the PA to Executive Director, has taken over Louise’s duties from 1 May 2019. Prenisha has a B.Com degree and the board is confident she will perform the administrative and financial function well. Sarah Thambiran is the newly appointed PA to the Executive Director. SAFLEC thanks you for your kind patience during this transition.

Conclusion
It has been a very rewarding experience to serve as chairman of the SAFLEC board I sincerely thank my fellow board members for all your contributions, for attending meetings and helping drive SAFLEC to successfully meet its objective. To the new board members congratulations and wish you well to take SAFLEC, to greater heights.

SANJAY PATTUNDEEN

Director of Caprini Footwear

Born in 1963, Sanjay found Caprini Footwear in 1992. Caprini Footwear (Pty) Ltd is part of the Palm Group of Companies. Although the majority of products are consumed locally, the company is fast increasing export quantities.

Not surprisingly the interest in wanting to participate in SAFLEC activities continue to increase. SAFLEC’s main aim is to facilitate growing of exports in Footwear, bag and leather goods sector. Through continuous interaction with various stakeholders, we are able to develop and enhance our export promotion strategy.

Exports grew by 13% in 2017, from 4.31m pairs to 4.88m pairs in 2017. FOB prices were down by 4.5%, hence export FOB value only increased by 7.9%. Africa is by far the largest export destination. Zambia portion is just under 50% of total exports. The interpretation of data, especially to BLNS region is still being finalised. SAFLEC is engaging with retailers to assist with the breakdown of footwear exported in this region. The final analysis will be shared with members once completed.

SAFLEC continues export promotion activities, exposing members to many parts of the world. The SA footwear and Leather good manufacturing industry has been recognised as a stable industry with potential to be a growing global market player. The exhibition costs are understandably high. However this is a medium to long term investment. Efforts to minimise costs are key and SAFLEC is continuously engaging with stakeholders (Government being the Major one) to explore means to minimise costs and maximum return on Investment.

SAFLECS continued presence at International trade shows and Events and the recent attendance by executive director Nerisha together with many Industry Captains, to the World Footwear Congress in Portugal has resulted in a request for SA to host the World Footwear Congress in 2022. This is great news!
AS pert actual export data, Africa is still our major export destination. SAFLEC is increasing its focus on Africa. Lots of research has been done and some valuable information has been compiled. In addition an industrialisation programme for SADC region is being formulated by Government with participating countries showing keen interest. This regional economic integration process has identified the leather and related value chain products as one of the initial focus areas. It certainly looks promising for SA manufacturers.

Earlier this year, SAFLEC hosted the first fully funded Inward Buying Mission, consisting of buyers USA. This mission was a two way learning session. Their expectation was far exceeded by what they saw. IBM are quite a cost effective manner to expose SA manufacturers. SAFLEC will be exploring more IBM.

SAFLEC encourages SMME’s to be part of the export initiatives. This is Governments key focus area and they are pushing us to involve SMME’s. We are persevering, networking and partnering with many institutions to create educational platforms, especially for SMME’s to prepare to deal in the international arena. The recent ARSUTORIA workshops, as an example, provided valuable information and was hugely successful. Dear members we urge you to come forth, and participate in SAFLEC’s initiatives. There are competent staff members at SAFLEC, who will be ever so willing to assist.

Government is an important partner to SAFLEC. As a Section 21 company and as a part of government requirements of export councils, SAFLEC has complied fully. All reports are submitted and the financials are fully audited.

Marwick & Co were the auditors again for the March 2017 financial year end. They were satisfied with the audits. The detailed audited financials are available. The summarised financial situation is in the AGM report. The board is satisfied with the income and expenses.

Nerisha Jairaj the Executive Director of SAFLEC has been the driving force. Her contribution and performance has been outstanding. On behalf of the board and SAFLEC members I thank Nerisha. With continued support from the Board and SAFLEC’s members, Nerisha will ensure all aims and objectives are met with certainty. Prenisha, the PA to our Executive Director has also done a sterling job.

In conclusion, a huge thanks you to Louise who efficiently and ever willingly executes the financial and administration functions of SAFLEC. The Board appreciates your contribution.

It has been a very rewarding experience to serve as chairman of the SAFLEC board. I sincerely thank my fellow board members for all your contributions, for attending meetings and helping drive SAFLEC to successfully meet its objective. To the new board members congratulations and wish you well to take SAFLEC, to greater heights.

SANJAY PATTUNDEEN

Director of Caprini Footwear

Born in 1963, Sanjay found Caprini Footwear in 1992. Caprini Footwear (Pty) Ltd is part of the Palm Group of Companies. Although the majority of products are consumed locally, the company is fast increasing export quantities.

Not surprisingly the interest in wanting to participate in SAFLEC activities continues to increase. SAFLEC’s main aim is to facilitate growing of Footwear Exports. However we did have an ever increasing interest from the bag and other leather goods manufacturers. Through continuous interaction with various stakeholders, we are able to develop and enhance our export promotion strategy.

Local pairs manufactured continued its upward trend in 2016. Indications are this will continue in 2017. This is encouraging seeing we are operating in an economically challenged environment. This can be attributed to local retailer’s appetite to buy more local. Adding to this, exports grew by 27% in 2016! Unfortunately, due to technicalities and interpretation in statistics it is difficult to do a comparison and trend analysis over last 5 years. Going forward, we will be using 2015 as the base year. Let’s watch this space for 2017 export figures.

SAFLEC encourages SMME’s to be part of the export initiatives. This is Governments key focus area and they are pushing us to involve SMME’s. We are persevering, networking and partnering with many institutions to create educational platforms, especially for SMMe’s to prepare to deal in the international arena. Dear members we urge you to come forth. There are competent staff members at SAFLEC, who will be ever so willing to assist.

SAFLEC has been around for more than a decade, experienced a period of no activity, and revived 6 odd years ago. Soon thereafter we became more independent – moved into own offices with our own staff, led by our own very capable executive director, Nerisha. Efforts were focused in Africa, while intelligence was gathered in the rest of the world. In a short space of time, the SA manufacturing industries were present in the many most important international exhibitions outside Africa, – Dubai, Moscow, Italy, Turkey, UK, Germany, Tokyo, USA, and Australia later this year. Safe to say all continents have been covered. You would have been updated periodically via SAFLEC NEWSFLASH. More details are in the AGM reports.

Exporting to USA and most European destinations is not an overnight accomplishment. It does indeed take effort and perseverance. Nerisha has yet again displayed her talented networking skills. Numerous contacts have been made with important footwear organisations throughout the world. The SA government embassies and FER’s are also actively communicating and assisting with the networking process.

Government is an important partner to SAFLEC. As a Section 21 company and as a part of government requirements of export councils, SAFLEC has complied fully. All reports are submitted and the financials are fully audited.

Marwick & Co were the auditors again for the March 2016 financial year end. They were satisfied with the audits. The detailed audited financials are available. The summarised financial situation is in the AGM report. The board is satisfied with the income and expenses.

Nerisha Jairaj the Executive Director of SAFLEC has been the driving force. Her contribution and performance has been outstanding. On behalf of the board and SAFLEC members I thank Nerisha. With continued support from the Board and SAFLEC’s members, Nerisha will ensure all aims and objectives are met with certainty. Prenisha, the PA to our Executive Director has also done a sterling job. She has been working on contract and as at January this year a permanent employment contract was finalised.

In conclusion, a huge thank you to Louise who efficiently and ever willingly executes the financial and administration functions of SAFLEC. The Board appreciates your contribution.

It has been a very rewarding experience to serve as chairman of the SAFLEC board. I sincerely thank my fellow board members for all your contributions, for attending meetings and helping drive SAFLEC to successfully meet its objective. To the new board members congratulations and wish you well to take SAFLEC, to greater heights.

SANJAY PATTUNDEEN

Director of Caprini Footwear

Born in 1963, Sanjay found Caprini Footwear in 1992. Caprini Footwear (Pty) Ltd is part of the Palm Group of Companies. Although the majority of products are consumed locally, the company is fast increasing export quantities.

Each year just gets busier than the previous. This year was no exception. In fact, SAFLEC has exposed its members to Europe, USA and Middle East. The move to new offices in Westville was completed, and everyone is settled. With the increase in activities, it was necessary to employ an additional staff member. A warm welcome to Prenisha, who I am sure many of you are aware of and spoken to or have received one of her many e-mails. With regards our new offices, if you have not already done so, please make an effort to visit. Nerisha, Louise or Prenisha will happily receive you. Not surprisingly the interest in wanting to participate in SAFLEC activities continues to increase. SAFLEC’s main aim is to facilitate growing of Footwear and Leather Exports and through continuous interaction with various stakeholders, we continue to develop and enhance our export promotion strategy. While we have presented ourselves in Europe and USA and other non-African countries, Africa remains the largest export destination.

There are some concerns regarding export figures. We continue to work closely with SARS in this regard. With considerable effort the relevant export information had to be re-analised and recalculated. Interestingly Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, (BLNS Region), is part of the export figures. SA national chains have outlets in this region. Goods sent from these chains are recorded as exports. The challenge is what percentage is SA manufactured and what percentage is imported and sent across the borders. Unfortunately, with a different approach to the compilations this year, comparing with previous years may be inaccurate.

The Trade Exhibition to Las Vegas early this year was a very fruitful one. We are aware that exporting to USA and most European destinations is not an overnight accomplishment. It will however take continuous effort and perseverance to achieve desired goals. In this regard Nerisha has yet again displayed her talented networking skills. You would have been updated on the status via SAFLEC NEWSFLASH.

REPORT BY THE CHAIRMAN

Numerous contacts have been made with important footwear organisations in the USA. The SA government embassies, and FER’s are also actively communicating and assisting with the networking process. Among the many positive outcomes, I must mention FDRA, which is the Footwear, Distributors and Retailers Association in the USA.

This association represents mostly, if not all, the major retailers and distributors in the USA. The FDRA Board members are the Presidents and CEO’s of major companies to who SAFLEC exposed the SA manufacturing industry. In May 2016, Nerisha attended the FDRA’s conference held in Washington. With more networking, SA has been further exposed. We hope to sooner rather than later have the first inward buying mission from the USA.

The SA Government is an important partner to SAFLEC. As a Section 21 company and as a part of government requirements of export councils, SAFLEC has complied fully. All reports are submitted and the financials are fully audited.

Marwick & Co were the auditors for the March 2016 financial year end. The approved detailed audited financials are available. The summarised financial situation is in the AGM report. The board is satisfied with the income and expenses.

The large surplus reflected in the financials is as a result of the DTI funding that was paid into our account in the 2016 financial year, although the contra expense was incurred in 2015 financial year end. Hence the deficit in 2015, and large surplus in 2016.

It is almost 2 years that Nerisha Jairaj has joined SAFLEC. Her contribution and performance has been outstanding. On behalf of the board and SAFLEC members I thank Nerisha. It was for this reason the board decided to promote her to Executive Director of SAFLEC. With continued support from the Board and SAFLEC’s members, Nerisha will ensure all aims and objectives are met with certainty.

In conclusion, a huge thanks you to Louise who efficiently and ever willingly executes the financial and administration functions of SAFLEC. The Board appreciates your contribution.

It has been a very rewarding experience to serve as Chairman of the SAFLEC board. I sincerely thank my fellow board members for all your contributions, for attending meetings and helping drive SAFLEC to successfully meet its objective. To the new board members, congratulations and I wish you well in taking SAFLEC to greater heights.

SANJAY PATTUNDEEN

Director of Caprini Footwear

Born in 1963, Sanjay found Caprini Footwear in 1992. Caprini Footwear (Pty) Ltd is part of the Palm Group of Companies. Although the majority of products are consumed locally, the company is fast increasing export quantities.

It has been yet another busy year for SAFLEC! From Exhibitions, to meetings with members of government, as well as finalising the process of making SAFLEC an independent business unit. The relocation to new offices in Westville, Durban was complete (it was sad to part company with SAFLIA). Please make an effort to visit the new office. Nerisha and Louise will happily receive you.

I feel it’s appropriate and as a mark of respect to mention that we are deeply saddened by the passing away of two dear members, Zane Zwart and Dave Bromfield. Zane from Ubergruvi was a respected member. Our thoughts and prayers are with Milton, Ashley and the rest of the Zwart family. Dave Bromfield was a director of APECO and a Director on SAFLEC Board. Dave had dedicated over 40 years to the industry and had been a pillar of strength and knowledge to SAFLEC, its Board and staff. SAFLEC expresses our deepest condolences to Dave’s wife, Morag and their two children.

May GOD give the Zwart and Bromfield families’ strength.

There has been renewed and increased interest and participation in SAFLEC activities. We have also extended membership to include the bag and belt sector. A few of them joined the footwear manufacturers in several outward selling missions in the past year. SAFLEC’s main aim is to facilitate growing of Footwear Exports. Through continuous interaction with various stakeholders, we are able to develop and enhance our export promotion strategy. While we have presented ourselves in UK and Middle-East (and soon Russia in September 2015, and USA next February), Africa will continue being the primary focus area.

Exports grew from 3.2 m pairs to 4.03 m pairs, a 25% increase in pairs. Zimbabwe is still by far the largest export destination followed by Zambia. With more interest from South African manufacturers participating in export promotions, I am confident, the 2015 year will see an even higher percentage increase in exports, in both pairs and value.

In a DTI and Chinese government organised project, SAFLEC was asked to nominate prospective students from its members for a 90 day fully paid for course in design and manufacturing in China.

All names were taken through to a shortlisting process and 30 lucky students were sent to China for the course that began in June. We await some positive feedback on their return.

The DTI, Team Export South Africa conference was held between in June 2015 in Pretoria. SAFLEC had the opportunity to present challenges to Minister Rob Davies. SAFLEC, was publically complimented for its efforts in the strides that it has made for its members and Footwear and Leather,

We are all aware of the various DTI funding available, including support for local exporting initiatives. SAFLEC plans and assists member to access these funding. On this note we are exploring engaging a full time person to tap into various funding available, not only for export promotion but funding to enhance capacity building in all disciplines of business.

As a matter of fact the DTI support for local manufacture is indeed such a good one our fellow SADC neighbours (Zimbabwe and Zambia) have engaged with us, enquiring about the processes and structures involved. In the long term the final outcome would be to contain most if not all footwear manufacturing in SADC region and ultimately in Africa. We need to engage and lobby Government, motivating them to see the value (especially in employment creation).

Government is an important partner to SAFLEC. As a Section 21 company and as a part of government requirements of export councils, SAFLEC has complied fully. All reports are submitted and the financials are fully audited.

Marwick & Co, were the auditors again for the March 2015 financial year end. They were satisfied with the audits.

It is almost a year since Nerisha Jairaj, the Executive Manager of SAFLEC, has been appointed. She settled in quite nicely and delivered. The board is quite pleased and certain that those that have worked with her agree. Nerisha is indeed a valuable asset to SAFLEC. She has engaged successfully with all stakeholders and ensured Saflec reached its goals.

Huge thanks to you as well Louise who efficiently takes care of the financial administration. In addition, she performs all the secretarial duties of SAFLEC. The Board appreciates both of your contributions. Ladies, you really make my task as chairperson a pleasurable one. Finally, thank you to the Board members for attending meetings and helping drive SAFLEC to meet its objective. I look forward to working with the new board. Together with Nerisha and Louise we will continue experiencing high export growth

SANJAY PATTUNDEEN

Director of Caprini Footwear

Born in 1963, Sanjay found Caprini Footwear in 1992. Caprini Footwear (Pty) Ltd is part of the Palm Group of Companies. Although the majority of products are consumed locally, the company is fast increasing export quantities.