There has been criticism expressed about the state of the finished leather goods market in South Africa. With the current exchange rate being very favourable to exporters, they are often being left behind on both ideas and quality.

One industry expert, who has worked in the field for many years, reports that the Chinese and Taiwanese-owned factories in Kenya and Madagascar were far more competitive than those in South Africa, but there is no reason why they should be.

Much is said about energy load shedding and lack of investment at a government level, but these are also problems being faced by those in other countries.

The main problem is reported to be that too many South African manufacturers take a short-term view and expect too high a return – strong words.

Raw materials prices and trends

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