South Africa rejoined the international community during the early 1990s and embarked on a monolithic policy of liberalisation of its economic system. There was and still is a immense impact of those globalization policies on South African concerns.

This paper examines the responses or the impact of liberalisation on houses in South Africa. One such house is the vesture and fabric industry. The paper will uncover that there have been increased exports accompanied by decreases in employment and contraction of production of narrations and cloths. But, liberalisation has besides been accompanied by much upgrading of equipment and by increased specialisation and perpendicular decomposition in order to develop competitory niches despite South Africa ‘s fabrication pay degrees being higher than those of many of its international rivals

2 Key Wordss

Clothing, fabric, globalisation, employment, growing, Trade liberalisation, import, export competition, restructuring.

3 Introduction

Globalization is one of the most powerful forces to hold shaped the universe economic system during the past 50 old ages Frankel ( 2000:2 ) . E.loots ( 2001 ) nevertheless states that globalisation is non a new phenomenon, O’Rourke and Williamson ( 2000:1 ) quotes many historiographers who attributed the ‘big knock ‘ significance of globalisation back to when Columbus landed in the in 1492 every bit good as Vasco de Gama journeyed around Africa 1498.However, Williamson ( 1996 ) disagrees, He surmises that really the first globalisation took topographic point in the late 19th century when there was a immense realisation in the benefit of the late invented agencies of distant transit and communicating. The consequence of this was quickly turning trade crossing the Earth. From here onward I will utilize the footings globalisation and liberalisation interchangeably.

Harmonizing to E.Loots ( 2001 ) globalisation is characterized by the fact that distance and national boundary lines no longer affair, she goes in front to explicate the grade of easiness when it comes to making concern with a client across the Earth, in this scenario the national boundary lines and geographics per say fails to go pertinent or relevant for economic intents. She besides argues that while the purported chances and benefits of the gap of economic systems are emphasized by its advocates and protagonists, a feeling of concern and concern is turning among many politicians and economic experts about the hazards involved in the liberalisation of the economic system every bit good as the impact of it on future growing chances.

The focal point of this paper is on economic globalisation and its impact on South African Businesss, and I concur with E.Loots ( 2001 ) when she quotes a superb definition used by the World Bank ( 2000b ) , which states that, “ in recent old ages a rapidly lifting portion of economic activity in the universe seems to be taking topographic point between people who live in different states ” . Somehow Harris ( 1993:755 ) came to the decision that economic globalisation is “ the increasing internationalisation of the production, distribution and selling of goods and services ” .

Harmonizing to E.Loots, a batch of writers seem to hold ( see Rodrik, 1997 ; Frankel, 2000 ; Hemmer, 2001 ; etc. ) that the drive forces behind economic globalisation are the undermentioned:

A decrease in conveyance and communicating costs in the private sector.

Reduced policy barriers to merchandise and investing by the populace sector.

An addition in the handiness of and entree to information and engineering.

The velocity with which information and engineering can be transmitted across national boundaries.

Walker ( 1992:2 ) argues further that the procedure of fiscal globalization is the most of import portion of the procedure of globalization. It is possible to derive penetration into the general procedure of globalization by analyzing the procedure of fiscal globalization. From here onward I will merely be mentioning to economic globalisation when I bring up the construct of globalisation. With the aforesaid definition of globalisation and its subsequent yardstick or its properties, I will be able to show or mensurate reasonably efficaciously the effects of globalisation in the South Africa surroundings.

The bequest left on the state ‘s industries and concern by apartheid policies and the resulting countenances were lay waste toing ( DTI, 2007a ) . Chang ( 1997 ) further concurs that policies that had been designed to profit merely 25 % of the population had created an inefficient industrial construction. This is of import to observe because the impression of globalisation existed during the apartheid epoch. Protectionist policies, and the subsequent international countenances, isolated South African houses from the planetary market and hence concern relied on bring forthing goods and services for the domestic market ( Barnes & A ; Kaplinsky, 2000 ; Roberts & A ; Thoburn, 2004 ) .

Harmonizing to the section of trade and industry ( DTI, 2007a ) . the apartheid government besides deliberately did non put in developing the human capital of the bulk of the population ( DTI, 2007a ) . All this resulted in an unproductive fabrication sector characterized by out-of-date engineering, procedures and organisation ( Joffe et al, 1995 ) . Chang ( 1997 ) explains that the state ‘s economic system merely survived due to the states copiousness of natural resources. Given this, when South Africa re-integrated into the international economic system in the early 1990s ( Loots, 2001 ) , the survival opportunities of much of South Africa ‘s industry was questioned ( Chang, 1997 ) particularly fabricating. However, entry into the planetary economic system was planned, with globalisation or trade liberalisation and happening in phases ( Kusi, 2002 ) alongside a scope of industrial policies designed to increase productiveness and advance exports ( DTI, 2007a ) . As a consequence, South Africa was able to prehend the chances and overcome many of the challenges that globalization presented.

The fabrics industry stand both as an chance and a menace from globalisation. The industry normally accounts for a important portion of employment and of fabricating value added so accommodations can hold important effects on local incomes and employment. The possible loss of the domestic market to imports every bit good as the chance to spread out production for export requires the restructuring of production.

This has complex deductions for concerns.employment and rewards, and thence for poorness

S.Robert and JT.Thoburn ( 2004 ) argues that the capablenesss developed to defy import competition have been of import in bring forthing export competitiveness-an issue made more urgent by the stage out of the international Multi-Fibre Arrangement by the start of 2005 under the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing of the Uruguay Round. After the MFA phased out, South African fabric and garment exporters found themselves under greater menace in the US and the EU from unrestricted exporters.

AGOA, the United States Africa Growth and Opportunities Act, which came into consequence in early 2001, provides measure uping states with decreased responsibilities for exports of vesture to the US market for an initial period of eight old ages.

The EU-SA Trade and Development Cooperation Agreement, the free trade understanding which came into consequence on 1 January 2000, provides for EU duties to be reduced to zero over six old ages, and for South African duties to be reduced to half of MFN duty degree over eight old ages.

These two understandings were besides of import in pulling international purchasers to beginning from South Africa and in promoting inward investing. But unhappily they came and went and the South African fabric industry found itself incapable of viing international and locally every bit good.

Section 3 now looks at trade liberalisation and Section 4 at the restructuring of the South African fabrics sector. Section 5 draws out the deductions for employment and rewards of the industrial restructuring under trade liberalisation. Section 6 nowadayss decisions.

3 Trade Liberalization

Harmonizing to Cassim et Al ( 2002 ) , From between 1993 and 2004 duties in this industry has been reduced by about 40 % , the small protection left on this industry even after liberalisation policy are invariably been eroded by the undermentioned ground

There has been important import incursion by illegal imports as a consequence of uneffective imposts processs, and by ‘dumped ‘ imports, harmonizing to our interviewees.

Competition in the domestic market can gnaw anti-export prejudice by doing domestic monetary values to fall to a degree below the import monetary value duty. That is, there can be tariff redundancy.

Anti-export prejudice estimations do non take history of export inducements such as import responsibility discounts and drawbacks on imported inputs, and the export inducement Duty Credit Certificate [ DCC ] strategy.

Domestic houses confronting competition in the place market may turn to exports to keep their capacity use, since low capacity use leads to lifting costs in fabrics.

Anti-tradable anti-export prejudice ( that is, the prejudice against both exports and import viing goods generated by whatever grade of existent exchange rate overestimate has been caused by go oning protection11 ) has been reduced by capital-account goaded depreciations of the Rand.

Harmonizing to Sandrey, R. and Fundira, T ( 2008 ) some imported cloths and narrations now are cheaper than their South African equivalents even after import responsibility has been paid, and despite some domestic monetary values falling because of domestic competition. This is true even of imports that do non look to be ‘dumped ‘ . In portion the job arises because of extra capacity in the fabric industries of East Asia, and because of the exchange rate depreciations in Asia following the 1997 Asiatic fiscal crisis. The import incursion ratio in fabrics rose from 27 to 37 per cent over the period 1990 to 2001, and the portion of exports in entire fabric end product rose from 16 to 23 per cent. While South African fabric imports remained well more than fabric exports, the net trade ratio had fallen from -0.66 in 1990 to -0.41 in 2001 Roberts and Thoburn ( 2003a ) .Despite a rapid enlargement in its vesture exports ; merely over half of South Africa ‘s entire vesture and fabric exports are of fabrics, a higher proportion than in universe trade.


4.1 Trade Liberalization and Restructuring

Maree ( 2005 ) states that the fabric industry faced trade liberalisation against a long-run background of weak investing since the mid-1970s. The fabric sector portion in fabricating capital stock halved between 1972 and 1983. Low investing degrees meant that capital stock became really dated, and by 1992 the mean age of most machinery in whirling, weaving and knitting was between 14 and 20 old ages. While South African capital stock was judged to be rather outdated early in the decennary, Cornia, G.A. and Court, J ( 2001 ) argues that there was important upgrading of machinery in the mid-1990s. And that later investing degrees besides rose aggressively in 2000 as houses prepared to run into increased demand for fabrics from garment manufacturers taking up export chances under the AGOA measure.

In the postal study carried out by ( Roberts and Thoburn,2003a ) , textile houses recorded the impact of trade liberalisation as greatest in footings of competition from imports. And further that globalisation has besides had a major impact in footings of determinations to export on

profitableness and employment, every bit good as on merchandise development, the merchandise scope and

altering engineering. Walker, GR en Fox, MA. ( 1999 ) attributed strong association between sing a really high impact of increased import competition and holding made alterations in production techniques, proposing that liberalisation or globalisation has contributed to production alterations and reconstituting. They further observed that on the export side, responses to a inquiry on the motives for exporting indicate that there was a important proportion of exporting houses that were making so for defensive grounds as a consequence of menaces to the domestic market.

Across the fabric industry liberalisation has required houses to put in new machinery,

apologize their production and, if possible, concentrate on niches and more differentiated types of merchandises SouthAfricaInfo ( 2010 ) . A critical component has hence been entree to capital, along with direction accomplishments able to plan and implement constructive schemes. The upgrading and restructuring plans have besides involved important occupation losingss, nevertheless Hemmer, HR ( 2001 ) argues that many houses have reacted to liberalization otherwise, some unable to follow or develop more constructive schemes, has focused their energies on defensive cost-cutting steps whereby it chiefly manifest itself in the signifier of decreases in employment, and incremental displacements in the merchandise mix. He argues that some houses have merely lost sections of their concern to imports, in the higher volume more standardised merchandise countries, and have closed down parts of their concern as a consequence. For illustration, one house had ceased to do threads and concentrated on labels, and another had closed its cover fabrication division. These determinations, he noted are distinguishable from the specialisation within merchandise groupings that besides occurred such as a house concentrating on whirling merely cotton narrations. Finance restraints experienced by some houses compound the job. Commercial Bankss have been really loath to impart to the sector, particularly after several big closings, while houses runing in a group with fiscal backup have been notably better able to put and reconstitute.

4.2 Trade Liberalization and Competitiveness

Frankel, JA ( 2000 ) observes that the beginnings and foundations of international fight are closely linked to the responses to merchandise liberalisation. And, with liberalisation, the criterions expected in the local market are now progressively similar to those in export markets. He argues that the bequest of high degrees of protection in the signifier of production of a broad scope of merchandises to fulfill the domestic market has had the double consequence of houses being comparatively uncompetitive in commodity-type merchandises such as basic cloths, but being rather flexible in reacting to differing client demands.

He notices that the more successful houses, seeking out niches, are trying to vie on quality design and bringing footings instead than monetary value. An particularly interesting group of houses are those that have developed peculiar proficient production capablenesss. These capablenesss He argued, which have enabled export fight in industrial fabrics to be achieved, are based mostly on domestic demand forms. These forms have supported both version and echt invention. The most dramatic illustration is the individual most successful company in footings of export fight. The company is one of the three taking planetary makers of top quality parachute cloth, and besides makes stuff for bullet-proof waistcoats and motor vehicle airbags. The background to these dynamic competitory strengths is the demand from the South African ground forces under countenances. Its competitory success is apparent in that it earns a higher monetary value in export markets than domestically, and that it merely changes ( US dollar ) monetary values one time every two old ages.

4.3 Globalization and Foreign Ownership

Maree J ( 1995 ) found that many of South Africa ‘s fabric houses have their historical beginnings in European investors and applied scientists, and still have international ties, particularly with German and British houses. However He besides notes that there has besides been an economy-wide procedure of South African pudding stones concentrating on their nucleus concern after their old variegation that resulted from countenances and protection. For illustration, the Anglovaal and Tongaat-Hulett pudding stones have both disposed of their fabric involvements. Such divestments have offered chances for acquisitions by foreign investors.

The capital demands of restructuring have opened up major chances for farther

foreign engagement, and a 3rd of fabric houses are now foreign-owned, frequently as a consequence of acquisitions. One of the most important developments linked to entree to capital has been the major function played by a German investor, Claas Daun Rodrik, D, ( 1997 ) .

He farther notes that the foreign ownership appear non to convey engineering transportation or benefits from internalisation of minutess. There is in fact small engagement in the daily direction of the houses. The acquisitions alternatively appear to hold been driven by self-interest afforded by failing in the sector and the corresponding low monetary value of fabric houses. Chinese based houses have been spread outing in the Southern African

part in both vesture and fabrics, that had been particularly to take advantage of the chances offered by AGOA. They bring capital, expertness and some links with international purchasers.


5.1 Employment Changes Across the Sector

Fabric production has stagnated and textile employment has fallen significantly. There

were peculiarly crisp decreases in employment in the last three old ages of the ninetiess with corresponding additions in labour productiveness. Employment has fallen in all the chief fabric sub-sectors, with the largest losingss being in whirling, weaving and completing where employment in 2001 was 45 per cent lower than in 1996.

Spining, weaving and coating is the most capital intensifier of the fabric classs nevertheless, employment in fabrics has been in long-run diminution since the early 1980s ( Maree, 1995 ) .

In a postal study, carried out by S. Roberts and J T. Thoburn ( 2004 ) 62 % of houses recorded contractions in employment between 1995 and 1999, spread across all sub-sectors. This under-represents employment losingss, given the figure of houses which have closed down. It is apparent that liberalisation has placed force per unit area on all houses to react. What distinguishes houses is the nature of their response. Firms in the postal study which compete on quality and bringing clip in export markets are much more likely non to hold cut employment than houses which compete on monetary value. Intense competition in design alternatively of monetary value In our postal study. The effects of retrenchments on workers have been peculiarly terrible since alternate work is hard to happen in an economic system with such high unemployment already Bezuidenhout et Al. ( 2003 ) . The Proudly South African Campaign has besides come out for devouring local merchandises

5.2 Employment Changes and Restructuring at the Firm Level

The largest employment losingss have been in the large, vertically incorporate houses. These houses used to integrate many different merchandises, from whirling through fabric industry ( knitting or weaving ) to dyeing and completing Williamson, JG ( 1996 ) . He argues that rationalisation of operations and merchandises, investing in new machinery, and improved direction have all meant major decreases in the work force. Furthermore, the new coevals of machines purchased by houses in recent old ages have much greater throughput than those they replace. For illustration new loom or dyeing machine may increase production by 50 to 100 per cent over the machines they replace. This means higher labour productiveness and lower unit labour costs, along with decreases in employment. Even if the fabric sector were significantly to increase production and exports ( both direct and indirect ) , it is apparent that it would non make important sums of new employment relation to the occupations that have been lost. Fabric mills have become increasingly more capital-intensive, with additions in end product possible without much new employment. However Hemmer, HR ( 2001 ) states that greater employment creative activity is possible at the degree of garment industry, which remains comparatively labour-intensive.

One of the premier factors taking to the loss of occupations and closing of mills in the local fabric industry is inexpensive and illegal imports from China Harris, RG ( 1993 ) . The monetary value of goods from China is far lower than vesture made in South Africa. The grounds for that he argues are low labor costs in China ( a one-fourth of those in South Africa ) and the economic systems of graduated table ( big production tallies ) . Besides, more than 50A % of China ‘s fabric sector and 25A % of the dress sector is state-owned and subsidized by the province and other authorities governments. He farther notes that in add-on, China gives its fabric and vesture exporters a 13A % discount or export inducement. Chinese Bankss besides make free loans to construct fabric and vesture workss.

It is estimated that at least 40 000 occupations have been lost in the South African vesture and fabric industry from 2003 to 2005, taking to menaces of mass action against some vesture retail merchants by trade brotherhood federation COSATU. COSATU and the vesture trade brotherhood SACTWU besides demanded that retail merchants commit themselves to local purchases of 75A % DTI, ( 2007b ) .

5.3 Wagess

Average existent rewards declined in fabrics somewhat until 1996 and so rose aggressively in 1998 Cornia, G.A. and Court, J ( 2001 ) .They realize that the happenstance of this rise with a really big decrease in employment suggests employment losingss were preponderantly of lower waged employees. Employment losingss were non driven by lifting pay rates ; merchandise brotherhood agreed pay rates increased merely somewhat, . The reading is besides consistent with the decreases in mean rewards in the last two old ages, during which employment stabilized slightly. The decreases in existent rewards are an indicant of downward force per unit areas due to high degrees of unemployment and import competition. Loots, E ( 2001 ) amounts that average all fabrication wage is good above that of fabrics and vesture. Which reflects the orientation of South African industry, with above norm rewards in really big graduated table industry such as chemicals, basic metals, every bit good as in machinery and motor vehicles?

She farther observes that the fabrics sector differs well from garments with respect to labour costs. However established garment houses have been relocating to peri-urban and rural countries where rewards are really much lower than in nonionized urban countries like Cape Town and industrial sites in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal states, downward force per unit area on rewards has been intense and minimal pay statute law often has been ignored. New and bing investors in garments, peculiarly well-established foreign investors from Taiwan, have been turn uping in rural countries in order to utilize lower pay and by and large non-unionized labour, but at that place have besides been resettlements to neighbouring states such as Lesotho.


The upgrading of capital equipment mentioned in an earlier subdivision has non needfully been accompanied by important additions in formal preparation. Many houses interviewed were puting greater accent on numeracy and ( English ) literacy in new recruits, but most of import was the cognition gained on-the-job in understanding the operation of the machines S. Roberts and J T. Thoburn ( 2004 ) . Stability and experience were highlighted over and above formal instruction. A displacement to higher degrees of instruction ( typically a school go forthing certification ) besides appeared to be due to the handiness of appliers with such makings given the high degrees of unemployment prevailing. The AIDS epidemic in South Africa though, besides the personal calamities that it creates, is a job and a cost for houses, which lose trained workers.


South Africa rejoined the international community during the early 1990s and embarked on a monolithic policy of liberalisation of its economic system. Assorted definition of globalisation has been given which all boils down to intend opening up of the economic system for planetary trade and competition.

Although there are some negative perceptual experiences attached to globalisation, Roberts, S. & A ; Thoburn, J. ( 2004 ) are of the sentiment that “ policies that make an economic system unfastened up to merchandise and investing with the remainder of the universe are needed for sustained economic growing ” . The grounds on this is clear. They province once more that all the states that have made in economic success, and be able to increases life criterions for its people, are those that have open up to the remainder of the universe and liberalise their economic system. With the history of heavy protection and late entry into the liberalized economic system, the forecast for the South African concerns did non look good in the face of the force per unit areas of globalisation. What the grounds at the sector degree besides suggests, nevertheless, is that trade liberalisation and exporting are non needfully platforms for growing. Rather, growing depends on a scope of factors that status houses ‘ responses to liberalisation. Liberalization has been a major drift to restructuring of the sector but in many houses this has taken the signifier of cost film editing, retrenchment, and most houses have reduced employment, in many instances drastically. Many industries has benefited from the liberalisation of trade but the fabric industry has non been lucky. Finally the impact of globalisation on the vesture and fabric industry as a whole in South Africa has non been a positive 1.

List of Abbreviations

7.1 WTO World Trade Organization

7.2 IMF International Monetary Fund

7.3 FDI Foreign Direct Investment

7.4 GDP Gross Domestic Product

7.5 ILO International Labor Organization

8 Recognition

Particular thanks and grasp to S. Roberts and J T. Thoburn for their in deepness research and study carried out within the fabric industry

Bezuidenhout, A. , Khunou, G. , Mosoetsa, S. , Sutherland, K. & A ; Thoburn, J for their first-class unmasking on the impacts of globalisation and restructuring in the Textiles Industry of South Africa.