The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) in pursuit of its Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP2) in the crafts sector will assist 11 craft enterprises to showcase their design skills at the Design Indaba Expo, to be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) from 25 to 27 February 2011.
The project, steered under the stewardship of the Craft Sector Desk of the dti under the Industrial Development Division (IDD) banner, will play a significant role in attracting and hosting international buyers under the Export, Marketing and Investment (EMIA) National Pavilion scheme, aimed at supporting and accelerating market access opportunities for South African Craft manufacturers. In addition to the exhibition space that will be provided to enterprises, the Craft Sector Desk and Trade and Investment South Africa (TISA) will host business-to-business interactions to allow prospective buyers and craft producers to interact closely and be able to reflect on the trade show therefore cementing future relationships.
The Chief Operations Officer (COO), Malebo Mabitje-Thompson, explains that craft enterprises will showcase products ranging from ceramics, soft furnishing, home décor and wire art. “In previous years, we maximised the participation of exhibitors at the Design Indaba by drawing from all nine provinces. We were however met with various challenges, such as the capability of the exhibitors to follow through on orders after a trade show. This year we decided to try a different strategy by giving the enterprises incubated by craft hubs the opportunity to showcase at the Design Indaba”, she said.
“As part of our market access strategy for 2011 to 2012, we will designate aspects of the Craft Sector through the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act, at the same time in partnership with Proudly South African; we will develop quality standards in the Craft Sector by strengthening the current craft sector brand – the South African Handmade Collection (SAHC). On our current programmes, we will strengthen the integrated craft hub programs in partnership with the provinces and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). We are also looking into fast- tracking the opening of the Mzansi collection concept soon”, she concluded.