7 May 2024

From the Desk of Executive
Director, Nerisha Jairaj

Dear members, 

April has come and gone, giving us a chance to reflect on a month that was full of challenges of progress and inspiration. Let’s take a moment to remember the journey we’ve just finished. The footwear industry experienced some tests in April, but we met each one with determination. Like a garden that flourishes after a rainstorm, our hard work WILL pay off. Through creativity, resilience, and passion, we will transform obstacles into opportunities. Together, we will build a solid foundation for a successful year.

Keep reading for a recap of April’s highlights and a glimpse of what’s ahead, including exciting announcements and new opportunities for collaboration.

Best regards,
Nerisha Jairaj Executive Director, SAFLEC

Table of Content

Topic 1:

The US-based sportswear giant is planning to cut over 700 employees at its world headquarters in Oregon by June. This is the second phase of the layouts announced in February.

Nike is laying off an additional 740 employees by the 28th of June, following a February announcement to cut 2% of its workforce (roughly 1 600 jobs). Back in December, the brand announced that lay-offs were on the cards as part of its plan to cut costs by 2 billion US dollars over the next three years.

“Nike’s always at our best when we’re on the offence. The actions that we’re taking put us in the position to right-size our organization to get after our biggest growth opportunities as interest in sport, health, and wellness have never been stronger”, a Nike spokesperson told Complex Sneakers.

Topic 2:

Join SAFLEC and unlock a world of opportunities in the South African footwear and leather industry. As a member, gain access to vital resources, exclusive events, and networking platforms. With SAFLEC, seize the chance to expand into global markets through funding and support initiatives. Experience the thrill of collaborating with industry leaders, staying ahead of trends, and shaping the future of our craft. Don’t just witness the excitement—be a vital part of it. Elevate your career and impact by becoming a member of SAFLEC today! Contact

Topic 3:
SAFLEC/EFLC – USAID Africa Trade & Investment (ATI) Southern Africa Buy-in Activity APS Grant Opportunity Webinar

We are fully aware of the ongoing challenges our members face daily. As your Council and Cluster, we are committed to exploring every potential avenue to support our industry community. Our strong relationship with USAID, fostered through SAFLEC, has paved the way for assistance to EFLC members as well.

Thanks to this connection, USAID’s South African branch has extended a fantastic grant opportunity to our members, offering amounts ranging from USD 100,000 to 500,000. The deadline to apply is in July, so if you haven’t received our correspondence or attended the webinar, please let us know. We will be happy to share the information with you.

Topic 4:
Chinese Training Programme

China Aid is offering brilliant upskilling opportunities to firms for between 14 and 21 days fully paid for and MBA and PHD’s. Executive Director, Nerisha Jairaj, was recently invited by the Chinese Embassy to further inform her and other invitees on these opportunities that is available across sectors and fully sponsored by the Ministry of China. We are trying to get as many opportunities as possible in for our members. We urge all companies in our member to take full advantage of this opportunity. For more information email

Topic 5:

Our social media platforms have been hitting record breaking hits. Our last post obtained over 160 000 likes, boosted to followers in the rest of Africa, Europe, Middle East, and North America. We encourage you to take advantage of our efforts to promote you.

Send us content to push your company and brands. Also like, follow, and forward our links to your contact lists. Let’s build the following globally, so that we can show the world our capability.

Instagram: @saflec_team
Youtube: SAFLEC 

Topic 6:

Streamlining the Process of Obtaining VET Permits and Mitigating Potential Hurdles Webinar with Dr Soni of the Department of Agriculture
30 May 2024

Atlanta Shoe Market
10 – 12 August 2024

NEC Birmingham
01 – 04 September 2024

15 – 17 October 2024

As we move forward, we recognize the importance of re-learning and adapting to global needs, demands, and challenges while embracing new strategies to thrive in the post-covid era.