1 March 2023

Table of Content

Topic 1:

The dtic’s Export Marketing & Investment Assistance (EMIA) scheme is open to ALL large SAFLEC members, from BEE level 1 to BEE level 8, but not all our members understand this.

To assist them, SAFLEC/EFLC held a meeting to educate them on how to tap into funding opportunities for export enhancement, which are much broader than attending trade fairs, although that is a very important function which we encourage.

Other opportunities include financial assistance to:

  • Visit a country to do market research;
  • Invite inward buying missions of buyers to your factory;
  • Apply for brand and patent protection;
  • Do in-store promotions in other countries.

For more information regarding this please contact Busisiwe Radebe: 
EMIA applications are done online. Here is the link to the portal to apply for funding 

Topic 2:
APLF Dubai

With Hong Kong still under lockdown, the APLF exhibition was held in Dubai for the second year running.

Aside from the benefits SAFLEC itself gained from interacting with several associations and export councils from around the world, it was interesting to see how strongly Turkish, Indian, Pakistani and Chinese companies were promoting their countries.

With limited resources South Africa showcased 10 companies, with surprisingly positive leads for most of our exhibitors. Coming back to physical trade shows was a whole new learning experience. One thing is for sure, if the world cannot see us, we do not exist. A lot needs to be done in-country to increase exports but the platform needs to be set. Well done to all the exhibitors who really brought through excellent displays. 

Topic 3:
A view of world exports (as reported by World footwear)

To ensure that we strategize correctly, SAFLEC/EFLC held a brainstorming session with manufacturers and government. In attendance were Mpho Rantlha (dtic), John Rocha (dtic, Trade and Invest Africa Division), Martin Cameron (Trade Advisory), Courtney Barnes (BMA/Facilitator of the Master Plan), Takalani Rathiyaya (eThekwini), Justice Matarutse (eThekwini), Shoni Seema (dtic, AGOA), Andrew Aphane (dtic), Nerisha Jairaj (SAFLEC) and SAFLEC board members and staff.

We discussed the emergence of non-tariff barriers in some countries despite the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). We agreed that in a largely informal trading environment, with massive logistics and payment issues, the simplest way to grow export was to encourage South African-based retailers to source South African-made footwear for their stores in other countries. We also discussed self-funded initiatives by manufacturers of distribution warehouses in other countries to service hawkers and informal traders, and outward missions by manufacturers.

We were very concerned that the AGOA agreement, which has been very beneficial for South African exporters, and which is due to be renewed, could be jeopardised by the country’s foreign policy.

The session was successful with the stakeholders’ identifying opportunities, challenges and threats, coming up with possible solutions to all challenges, drawing up strategies to take advantage of all the opportunities presented, and determining and allocating the relevant teams to start implementing.

Topic 4:
Let’s Hear What Our Members Have To Say!

The Asics Japan-based sportswear company has reported that India saw the highest growth globally in 2022 due to the post-pandemic running and fitness boom

Our experience and our benefits from the time we joined SAFLEC have been tremendous. We had very good experiences in that through SAFLEC we are able to see what the market requires, the trends that are out there and more especially getting our foot In the export market. We understand that it cannot be done by the click of our fingers. However, we acknowledge that in the long term we will be able to supply the export market. We have also had opportunities to meet business partners from abroad through the intervention of SAFLEC. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”. We therefore, want to appreciate SAFLEC for giving us the opportunity to be part of the bigger market.

Allan Munsamy

Planet Events
We have been working closely with SAFLEC for the last 5 years and if you are not yet a SAFLEC member, I would strongly recommend you join SAFLEC. We owe a lot of our international success to the SAFLEC Team who have helped our and many other local brands enter international markets with their international trade show exhibition programme. Whether you want to learn more about import/export, the leather trade, how to market and export your products abroad or just to stay up to date on the latest local and international fashion and sustainability trends, SAFLEC offers all of the above and more. It’s very reassuring that if you ever need any local or international assistance Nerisha and her team at SAFLEC are always willing to help and are absolutely amazing and super proficient.

Devan Swanepoel

Nerisha and her team at SAFLEC have provided a professional service and assistance to help us at Bata meet and work with new suppliers. Their assistance in the past has helped us work and develop a range of fashion footwear that we export into Africa. SAFLEC has assisted the industry as a whole to access trade fairs and trade missions that are integral to developing and growing export opportunities.

Derek Yegambaram


Topic 5:
Social Media

Our social media platforms have been hitting record-breaking hits. Our recent campaign obtained over 14,800,000 impressions and over 540,000 engagements, 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 us build the following globally so that we can show the world our capability.

Instagram: @saflec_team
Youtube: SAFLEC 

Topic 6:
Upcoming Events

Arsutoria One Week Footwear Workshop (DBN) – 17-21 April 2023

Arsutoria One Day workshop (CPT) – 24 April 2023

Western Cape Meet and Greet – 25 April 2023

New York Trade Show – 6-8 June 2023

Busan Design Week – 22-25 June 2023

Leather World Paris – 3-5 July 2023