South Africa’s textile industry has been demanding higher wages in the face of rising inflation.
The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the average salary rose by 2% to $1,500 per month in the past year.
The textile industry is a key pillar of the South African economy, accounting for $6.4 billion in annual revenues and generating $4.6 billion in taxes.
The Confederation of South African Industries (CSSAI), which represents South Africa-based textile firms, said it is calling on the government to pay workers more.
CSSAI said its members have been demanding an increase in wages, which the government should allow.
CSIAI President Sasa Vashir said the industry needs to have an increase to compensate for the higher inflation.
“There are many factors which are pushing up the costs of living in the textile sector, but there are also some structural issues,” Vashi said.
“We need to invest in our textile industry.
We need to do it now to give our workers a better standard of living and to make sure they don’t suffer.”
South Africa has the second-highest unemployment rate in the world, with about 7.7% of the workforce unemployed.
A recent report by the World Bank said South Africa had the worst record for wage theft in the developing world.
The report said South Africans pay $4 billion annually in wage taxes, with the government providing little or no support for wages.
It said South African workers are underpaid and have to bear the brunt of a $1.4 trillion debt.
South Africa also has one of the highest rates of child labor in the developed world, according to a report by Childcare Worldwide.