The challenges faced by CMT employers in the clothing industry in the greater Durban area.
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This research study examines the challenges facing CMTs in the Durban area. The researcher conducted a literature review on the evolution of the clothing industry, internationally and locally, the emergence of the CMT factory in Durban and the key aspects affecting CMTs in their current environment including yet not restricted to; imports, labour regulation, worker co-operation and CMT distributors. CMTs are the labour components in the clothing sector, providing jobs for woman and unskilled to semi-skilled individuals. Therefore, the poor performance of CMTs are cause for concern in South Africa, a country that is experiencing disturbing levels of unemployment. The evolution of the CMT factory highlights its reasons for coming into being i.e. short-run times and high productivity levels. When large manufacturers restructured to remain competitive, they shed the labour component of their operation. The reason for this move was to do away with labour issues. CMTs, in effect, became this labour component, without the benefits associated with that of a large manufacturing firm. However, the labour regulations that came into effect do not distinguish between a small business i.e. the CMT factory and a large manufacturer, as the same laws apply to both. The current CMT environment makes it difficult for employers to remain competitive, both locally and internationally, when factors such as low productivity hinder performance. The study provides vital information from the CMT employers' perspective and recommendations that have been made are practical and can be made use of with the help of the government.
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