The South African Fashion Institute (SAFI) is a newly formed agency which seeks to garner support and services for our designers and role players in the clothing and textile industry. This is an industry that has a huge potential to circumvent the high unemployment rate in South Africa. It's a sector that can be a panacea for Small Medium Enterprise Development, Job Creation, Skills Transfer and Cultural and Heritage Exchange.
SAFI has identified this niche sector for a focussed effort in commercialising the craft as well as localising the design and manufacturing through strategic linkages, export opportunities and retail platforms. We have carved out Five Key Strategic Pillars:Skills Development,Access to Capital, Business Support, Strategic Linkages and Access to Markets.
SAFI as an advocacy agency seeks to create entrepreneurial eco-systems that will bring about, inter alia solutions, including, to mentor, facilitate and garner resources to support and assist role players in the Fashion/Textiles/Clothing and Design Sub-sectors. South Africa has an unemployment rate of over 27%, which according to a report of the Small Enterprise Development Agency, is partly exacerbated by a chronic shortage of skilled labour. This has stressed the formation of SAFI so that it becomes the intervention that will assist in bridging this existing gap.
Palesa Kwitshana, CEO of SAFI explains "The urgency to which South Africa needs to create jobs and create entrepreneurs is such that it is absolutely crucial to have socio-economic structures, who are advocacy agencies like the South African Fashion Institute (SAFI). Our main aim is to effectively organise designers that will be supported in order to grow this sector through ensuring commercial gain for all value-chain role-players."
Kwitshana added that "The next few months will be dedicated to fostering and solidifying Public Private Partnerships to invest in the social development through this sector-focused. We are already on that trajectory with support that we have received from retail giant Musgrave Centre in Durban as well as the exclusive partnership that we enjoy with Weylandts Home Outfitters."
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