Deputy Minister Masina to Award Certificates to Fashion Designers in Mthatha

The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Mzwandile Masina will award certificates to 34 Eastern Cape fashion designers in Mthatha on 24 March 2016. The event will be hosted at the Eastern Cape Arts and Craft Hub by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), in partnership with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Eastern Cape Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture.

The group of fashion designers, who will also showcase their designs at the ceremony, received training at the Fashion Design Innovation Centre in the use of fashion design computer-based platforms and Cut, Make and Trim (CMT). The centre, which is situated in the Hub, was opened by the then Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms Thandi Tobias-Poloko in August 2013.

“The certification ceremony and fashion exhibition by the designers mark yet another commendable milestone in the continuous efforts of government to support the clothing and textile sector. We established the centre with the aim of providing a conducive environment where creative fashion designers, particularly from the rural areas nurture talent, hone their innovative skills and acquire more expertise and knowledge. This will unleash their creative potential and enable them to compete on an equal footing with designers from other parts of the country, and the world, by the cultural richness around them that could fully be expressed into niche tradable products that appeal to local, national and international clients,” says Masina.

He adds that although identified as one of the priority sectors for economic development, the clothing and textile sector is suffering from a lack for skilled technical personnel, including fashion designers. The CSIR 2010 Skills Audit report on an assessment on the supply of Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) skills in the clothing and textile sector found that graduates from SET tertiary institutions only possess theoretical knowledge and lack technical manufacturing skills, due to lack of thorough training in the industry.

“The development and growth of South African fashion design content has the potential to contribute to the sustainability of the textile and clothing industries. But for this to be achieved, we should invest handsomely in more interventions aimed at improving the skill levels of young people in the sector. We will have achieved our objectives if fashion designers who receive training at the centre establish sustainable enterprises which contribute to creating employment for themselves and their communities thereby contributing meaningfully to eradicating poverty and growing the economy,” says Masina.

Enquiries:

Sidwell Medupe-Departmental Spokesperson

Tel: (012) 394 1650

Mobile: 079 492 1774

E-mail: MSMedupe@thedti.gov.za

Issued by: The Department of Trade and Industry

Follow us on Twitter: @the_dti

Source: Department of Trade and Industry Republic of South Africa