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ANC KZN Treasurer: Collapsed poultry, clothing and textile industries being revived

African National Congress (ANC) KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Treasurer Nomusa Dube Ncube has said one of the reasons why the electorate should vote for the ANC during the local government elections on 1 November 2021 is that the party has a working plan to address service delivery issues and uplift the local economy, which includes reviving the poultry and clothing and textiles industries in the province which have been decimated by cheap imports.

Dube Ncube, who is also the KZN treasury MEC, was on Monday speaking at the provincial ANC’s debate which involved mayors from six municipalities in the province, including eThekwini and city of uMhlathuze mayors Mxolisi Kaunda and Mduduzi Mhlongo, respectively.

Dube Ncube said the eThekwini municipality – as well as “all other municipalities” – has revived the poultry industry in its region and that there are now efforts to ramp up the sector.

Dube Ncube acknowledged that the collapse of the industry in the province had resulted in major job losses.

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About 1300 workers were retrenched when in 2017 Rainbow Chickens sold some of its farms and shut down production.

The company cited chicken or trade dumping, the importing of chicken parts sold at cheaper prices, as the reason for its struggles to compete in the market.

Dube Ncube said people were now being encouraged to venture into the poultry farming industry because chickens are starting to be in short supply.

Dube Ncube pointed out that the eThekwini Municipality has already assisted some workers retrenched from Rainbow Chickens with going into the poultry farming business.

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The provincial government is now providing training to start up poultry farmers so that they can be equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to thrive in the industry, Dube Ncube added.

The KZN treasury MEC blamed the collapse of the poultry industry in the province on those who sought to monopolize it, but assured that government interventions would ensure it is revived and is inclusive.

On the clothing and textile industry, which was also annihilated by cheap imports, one suggestion made by Dube Ncube was that school uniforms should be produced and sold by local tailors.

Dube Ncube said the potential for growth is immense considering that there are about 500 000 learners in KZN who attend quantile 3 (or no-fee schools) which would be a target for such a programme.

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Dube Ncube said the provincial government is working on reducing the number of cheap imports that hit the country’s shores and that a multidisciplinary task team has been established to ensure that illegal goods do not enter into South African markets.

Another important issue now is to ensure that local tailors and designers produce high quality products that can compete with their international counterparts, so that South Africans do not have to buy the latter but can buy local, Dube Ncube said.

“It is also about that, that we can do things ourselves and not rely on others,” Dube Ncube said.

Dube Ncube concluded by saying it is the task of the ANC government working with communities to ensure that the economy is inclusive.

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