THE KwaZulu-Natal government has put aside R70million in a bid to rescue its clothing and textile industry.
This was said by MEC for economic development and tourism Mike Mabuyakhulu in his budget presentation in Pietermaritzburg yesterday.
He said the government hoped this will save thousands of jobs in the province.
Mabuyakhulu said a comprehensive strategy for the revitalisation of the province's clothing and textile sector has been developed.
"This strategy looks at access to markets, skills development, establishment of an integrated hub that will service stakeholders and development of a funding model to assist SMMEs to purchase raw materials and machinery.
"Government believes we can still rescue this labour-intensive sector. An amount of R30million has been budgeted for this. This would be backed by an injection of over R40million during the next two years.
"This sector has been hardest hit by trade liberalisation, which has resulted in cheap products flooding our market.
"As a result, thousands of jobs have been lost. The current global economic situation has not helped matters," he added.
Mabuyakhulu said arts and craft, information and communication technology, agri-business as well as business processing are among the industries his department has prioritised.
He also announced that a creative industry would be boosted by the establishment of a R24million music studio at the former Documentation Centre in Durban.
He said a lack of facilities and resources to manufacture and market music products had resulted in artists trekking to Gauteng to seek opportunities.