COSATU demands new SA kit

2012-04-05 22:01

Johannesburg - The Congress of SA Trade Unions (COSATU) is demanding a kit sponsorship change for South Africa's Olympic and Paralympic Games teams because the kit was not produced by a local manufacturer.

The kit, which would serve the teams for both the London games later this year and the Olympics of 2016 to be held in Rio de Janeiro, is produced by Chinese manufacturer Erke.

This has angered COSATU, prompting them to label it as a "total lack of patriotism" from SASCOC, saying the Olympics should be a platform to exhibit the very best of each country’s products.

"Thanks to [SASCOC], our teams will now be promoting the best of Chinese clothing," spokesperson Patrick Craven said in a statement.

The use of the Chinese-made kits was also anathema to the local procurement accord, signed last year by government, business, organised labour and community constituencies. The accord was aimed at promoting local procurement to boost employment.

"COSATU demands that the deal with Erke be cancelled and the contacts for the kit be given to Proudly South African companies, so that the athletes can wear them with real pride," Craven said.

Earlier on Wednesday, SA Clothing and Textile Workers' Union (SACTWU) spokesperson, Andre Kriel, also condemned SASCOC's choice of a foreign supplier over local industry.

"It is important for our country's national pride that local manufacturers be promoted in the supply of attire to our national sporting teams. More importantly, it is crucial that local manufacturing be encouraged to help with local job creation."

SASCOC president Gideon Sam defended the decision, saying Erke had provided a sponsorship valued around US$4 million and that no South African company was willing to take up the sponsorship.

"In 2009, when we were looking for sponsorship, it was coming up to the FIFA World Cup and everyone [local business] said they had their money tied up.

"We could not stand back, we had to put our feelers out wider."

Erke's offer of sponsorship went hand-in-hand with the manufacture of the kits," said Sam.


  • Werner - 2012-04-05 22:35

    Don't know why they fuss everytime with the Chinese, Really all the negotiations of Pres Zuma on business trips to China. Forming the BRICS, etc. Even empowering the Chinese by making them part of BEE and AA, COSATU really acts like a Brat in the alliance!

      Vince - 2012-04-06 08:04

      Spot on Werner, also could Mr Vavi please explain why at the last COSATU congress as with the ANCYL congresses all the t-shirts were imported from China. The question also has to be asked if COSATU is simply upset because the company their investment arm invested in did not get the contract to import the clothing.

  • Partiboy - 2012-04-05 23:05

    Invest in local SA production, screw the Chinese.

  • ArchAngel - 2012-04-05 23:57

    You stupid buggers, you still don't realize that the new colonists have already taken your country, most of it sold to them by your corrupt cANCer politicians, and the rest bought from greedy tenderpreneurs. You thought Afrikaans was bad? Start learning Mandarin..

      Shawn - 2012-04-06 00:52

      @ArchAngel, No need reffering to us as stupid buggers. There are many of us that are fully aware of what is going on in our country. Decisions taken by our Government is not neccesarilly what the SA citizens want. We at best raise our voices and through constructive lobbying try to bring about change. We admit the process is slow, but the pro Chinese loyalists only have 1year more year in their chairs.

      Koos - 2012-04-06 04:31

      Shawn, The Chinese is like HIV. Once you have it their is only one way out.

      John - 2012-04-06 09:35

      Reading Shawns opening comments seems the Arch hit a sensitive spot there...

      Selma - 2012-04-06 16:32

      The private schools are ahead of you - they are already teaching Mandarin. Brush-up on your chopsticks. The future looks sweet and sour.

  • thamifraser - 2012-04-06 00:21

    Didn't Cosatu also have caps and t-shirts made in China at their conference recently. Remember, China are a calling the shots when it comes to business with Africa and South Africa. And Cosatu is an alliance partner of the ANC. The same Cosatu led protests against e-tolling only to be exposed that their investment company has shares in the company that built the roads meant for e-tolling. Its called running with the sheep and chasing with the wolves.

      zaatheist - 2012-04-06 04:39


      Zastro Mohono - 2012-04-06 06:02

      i think you need read more before you say something outrageous,lying is not good and worse when to the public

  • Shawn - 2012-04-06 00:43

    I wish to add my voice: I believe Cosatu is correct on this one. I believe some decisions made in our(South Africa's) interest is not entirely to our benefit. I also believe that our President is taking liberties in the decision making process in what is good for us as a nation. This is precisely why I am taking the initiative of the "POOR PEOPLE'S MARCH" on 01/05/2012. I do believe that the time has come for us(nation) to voice our strong disapproval on matters that does not benefit us. I do believe that Chinese Imperialism should be stopped. They do not add any vallue to the growth of our rand. Be certain that the Chinese question will be raised on a higher platform soon.

      Louise - 2012-04-06 20:16

      Cosatu is 100% right. The same happened with the 2010 world cup - shocking. If Cosatu marches on this issue, I'll be in the front of the line. It's not only Cosatu that's real angry about this, Proudly SA is as well.

  • mary.kircher - 2012-04-06 01:03

    Unfortunately, here in South Africa we cannot compete with the Chinese, pricewise - our workers, encouraged by the unions, keep striking for more money etc. etc. The finished product costs way more than the Chinese one. Cosatu has overstepped it's mark, considering they are they ones who encourage the strikes to begin with - bloody cheek !

      Selma - 2012-04-06 16:41

      Our workforce can never match their productivity and work 'ethic'. Chinese workers, many of them children, are exploited, abused and underpaid. The exodus of USA companies to China and Korea happened becasue USA labour unions insisted on living wages and 36 hour work weeks. Until the people in China discover political democracy and human rights they will remain the slave labour of the world.

  • Blip - 2012-04-06 02:41

    SA clothing costs six times as much as Chinese clothing. Quality is equal, or inferior. That's all.

  • Gayle.Theunissen - 2012-04-06 03:22

    I agree with COSATU, the local South African manufacturers need the business.

      springbokke - 2012-04-06 04:08

      I appreciate your sentiments , and no disrespect.....Lets face it ,'' Olympic games'',it's all about sport, competing for glory etc.....bugger the logo's and such, why must it always be financial gain....Aaah, well all sport seems to have gone this way.... no more for country and flag...the dollar talks.

  • Tony - 2012-04-06 04:38

    I agree 100% Have the clothing made here, in good ol' SA. Newcastle, Bronkhorstspruit, and a few other towns and cities have clothing manufacturers. All Chinese, run by Chinese, owned by the Chinese and the money in Chinese back pockets.

  • Gauzin Mogau Seema - 2012-04-06 04:38

    Put ur money where ur mouth is! Where was everyone when they needed sponsorship? Tsek.

  • tshivhombelaf - 2012-04-06 06:31

    Where would I be if I were a layman? Men, women and children without basic political knowledge would take this political hogwash serious. 99.9 % of alliance partners t-shirts and other promotional materials are from China. No wonder most of them are used as door mats.

  • Michael Kleber - 2012-04-06 06:33

    it all comes down to price the Chinese can make the garments in China transport it to South Africa cheaper than to have it made here maybe COSATU can investigate why that is the case

  • Andrew - 2012-04-06 08:10

    That is right encourage inefficiencies and high wage demands. Typical of our unions who have no understanding of business principles.

  • grenville.felton - 2012-04-06 08:43

    Put a sock in it COSATU s you guys are not going to benefit from the deal like you have with building of the etoll roads. By the way COSATU why have you been so quite on the toll saga, is it because you have been caught, thought it was too go to be true another bunch of gravy boaters

  • John - 2012-04-06 09:32

    WOW... For once I agree with Cosatu..

  • Mark - 2012-04-06 10:33

    Why don't Cosatu sponsor them then?

  • Hermann - 2012-04-06 10:58

    Has Craven forgotten who has almost killed our textile industry?

  • Denis - 2012-04-06 12:19

    US$4million(R32 million) sponsorship for very few athletes( including the para athletes) then add on the R100 million from Lotto/Govn means the figures don't add up, methinks something is rotten here.

  • Selma - 2012-04-06 16:26

    And to top it all the mascot is a rhino - the irony nearly killed me. Get used to your new masters, poor Africa, being recolonised again - pretty soon pap will make place for rice. The Portuguese, Dutch, French, Germans, Scandinavians, Italians and Brittish failed to instill productivity and a work ethic - maybe the Chinese will succeed. Or just bring their own child labour and sex slaves. Perhaps SA manufacturers are not interested because the Olympic Games are not valued by the vast majority who are simply trying to survive, and really, realistically - just how many medals are we going to bag.

      Louise - 2012-04-06 20:21

      Local manufacturers WILL be interested - the industry is hardly surviving and the workers suffer - as well as the companies.

  • Louise - 2012-04-06 20:19

    It's shocking that China is AGAIN involved - the same thing happened with T-Shirts for the 2010 WC! Sascoc should be FIRED and until the contract changes in favour of the appointment of a LOCAL manufacturer, I'll certianly boycot the olympics and not watch ANY of it.

  • Kenny - 2012-04-07 00:51

    The clothing ,leather,hat, rope and canvass and other associated industries were the largest employer of people in our country.At least 95% of the above industries have disappeared due to a government idiots soon after1994 allowing the cheap Chinese imports to flood into our country (Financed by the Chinese government) thus successively putting at least 4,000,000 people out of work. What about all the other industries that supplied goods and services to the above,also gone. Solution,a large duty and surcharge on all imported clothing shoes ect. and within two years or sooner there would be a labour shortage as it was years ago in the clothing and allied industries,providing the unions keep far away and tried to putting their efforts into employment instead of trying to put as many of their people out of work as possible.(Thats the only thing they can do properly) After striking and the factory closes the workers go to the union for a job only to be informed that their is no job BUT ARETOLD YOU DID IT FOR THE CAUSE, VIVA VIVA. But no they can't see the wood from the trees and the powers above still sitting in the corner eating bananas,still getting votes.Zim here we come begging for food soon.

  • Nicolaas - 2012-04-07 08:10

    It is COSATU's fault that the textile industry is in such a mess. Why pay R100 a shirt instead of R30? And both shirts material comes from China.

  • roberta.keeling - 2012-04-10 13:18

    If Cosatu had not incited workers to continually strike for unreasonable wages, the cost of production might have been reasonable, and the clothing might have been made in S.A. Now Chine gets the order, as their costing is far better. So, Paddy me boy - blame yourself and your organisation, not the Olympic Committee.!

  • desertratbkf - 2012-04-10 13:55

    These SOB's are killing our Rhino's left right and centre, (the Rhino being our mascot), and then they produce our kit! This filthy corrupt government MUST GO!!!!!!!!

  • lydonmcg - 2012-04-10 14:10

    Who cares WHAT Cosatu demand? Who are Cosatu to demand anything?

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