SA Minister Launches ‘Mandela Fashion Award’ for Designers

“Three living memorials to the legacy of Nelson Mandela were announced by Minister of Economic Development Ebrahim Patel at a clothing factory in Cape Town.

Addressing large gathering of workers at Pep Clothing factory in a memorial service, he announced a Nelson Mandela Scholarship for 10 university students, a Madiba School Bursary for 100 primary or high school children with disabilities who have special needs and a Mandela Fashion Award for designers who promoted local jobs and fashion innovation. The SA Clothing and Textile Workers Union (SACTWU) will sponsor the three awards.

“These awards speak to three key things we remember Madiba for: his passion for education, his love for children and of course, and his colourful shirts. They ensure that the memory of a great man is carried forward in acts that transform the lives of people,” Minister Patel said.

He recalled the many examples of Madiba’s support for workers and for the clothing industry. These included an intervention in 1993 when Madiba phoned US President Bill Clinton to request greater policy space on tariff liberalisation for the clothing industry during trade talks at the predecessor to the World Trade Organisation.

“The result was that the previous offer by the National Party government for wide scale tariff reduction was replaced with a more balanced trade agreement that has helped to save tens of thousands of clothing and textile jobs. It is the measure of the man that he did this while he was in Norway in December 1993, ready to receive the Nobel Peace Prize,” Minister Patel told the gathering. . .”

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