The City of Cape Town (COCT) has urged businesses in the clothing and textile sector to make the vaccine as accessible as possible to their employees to continue the fight against COVID-19 and to revitalise the economy.
According to the city’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, James Vos, the aim is to get Cape Town’s economy running at full speed again, as it’s critical for the COCT to get as many people vaccinated as possible.
Vos recently visited Pep Clothing (Pepclo) in Parow where nearly 500 of its 1 600 staff has received the jab at its onsite and offsite vaccination sites. The retail giant is also South Africa’s largest clothing manufacturer.
“This is a huge achievement because it shows the world that the stakeholders in one of Cape Town’s most significant industries are playing their part to keep their staff and customers safe,” Vos said.
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Vos says the fact that the population is reaching immunity would be good for the economy as it reduces the likelihood of further hard lockdowns, as a study by Discovery Health’s Health Policy Unit, Business 4 SA and PwC has shown.
“As a member of the Cape Clothing and Textile Cluster, Pepclo has already shown its commitment to helping the industry reach its pre-pandemic growth trajectory. Between 2014 and 2015, exports grew by 12,6%, driven by strong increases in exports to Namibia (Cape Town’s largest export market for clothing and textile products). Exports to the United States, under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), has increased by 53,2%, making it the fastest-growing of Cape Town’s top export markets (Wesgro, 2016),” Vos indicated.
Vos reiterated that other clothing and textile sector players and businesses in other industries should follow Pepclo’s lead in making the vaccines as accessible as possible to their employees.