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INDUSTRY FOCUS: SAFETY

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Like many manufacturing sectors around the world, the South African footwear manufacturing industry has faced significant pressure over the past decade thanks to basement price imports coming from China that have made sustainable operations extremely difficult. Enterprise Africa has heard this from some of the countries prominent clothing manufacturers in the past few months, and it seems that footwear is no exception. Most of the big global fashion footwear manufacturers started creating their products in China a long time ago (think about Nike, Adidas and Puma) but what about safety footwear – the not always glamourous boots, steelies, leathers and hard soles. Could this industry, in high-demand from

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South Africa’s mining and industrial sectors, face decline thanks to the Chinese factor? According to local manufacturer, BBF Safety Group and CEO, Silvio Ceriani, this problem was the key driver behind the formation of the company in 2014. “Our establishment came about in concerted defence against Chinese imports in the footwear industry in South Africa,” he says. “With Chinese imports growing at a rapid pace, the SA footwear industry was slowly diminishing. We first saw it happen in the casual footwear market and the same started happening with safety footwear, so much so that imports accounted for more than 50% of all safety shoes sold in the country. “It was a concern for local

manufacturers, of which the four main competitors were Beier Safety Footwear, Bagshaw Footwear, United Frams and Wayne Plastics. Frams itself had been hit so hard that it started to become an importer of safety footwear and that was a spark behind merging to form an organisation that had some depth. We had strong brands in different parts of the market and we positioned them so we could protect ourselves and share volume – something which all factories require. We created the BBF Safety Group and we’ve been successful.” Today, the BBF Safety Group owns highly trusted, recognised and reputable brands including; Bova, Bronx Safety, Frams, Fuel, Inyati, Lemaitre, Sisi and Wayne. Calling on experience of more than 200 years in South Africa, BBF Safety Group utilises technical product leadership, performance and quality to consistently enhance the customer service experience. With the exception of Bronx, all brands are manufactured

Profile for Enterprise Africa

Enterprise Africa May 2017  

May's Enterprise Africa

Enterprise Africa May 2017  

May's Enterprise Africa