The textile industry has seen a rapid growth in the past decade and is one of the most highly valued sectors in the world.
Its growth was so rapid that the country’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Industry is currently in the process of developing guidelines for the printing industry, which includes fabrics, paper and textiles.
The guidelines, which are expected to be finalised by the end of the year, will outline the regulations for the production and use of fabric textiles and the requirements for the use of textiles that can be manufactured domestically and exported abroad.
The country has been facing a proliferation of counterfeit and pirated textile textiles which are being sold in supermarkets and on the internet.
In 2014, the ministry announced a new policy that included the creation of a task force to combat counterfeit and illegal textile textile exports, including in South Africa.
The new guidelines have been in the works since the ministry began working on the initiative last year.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Liora Tzur, deputy director of the ministry’s department of textile industries.
“We’ve been working for some time to ensure that the textile industry can survive in the digital age.”
Tzure noted that many textile industries in the United States and Europe have seen a similar rise in production.
“These are all products that have to be produced locally and at home, with very specific standards,” she said.
“That’s why the textile industries here are so successful.
This is one reason why we’re so focused on this task force.”
A recent report by the World Trade Organization revealed that South Africa had the second-highest share of textile exports of $4.5 billion, behind only China.
The ministry is also working on guidelines to combat online piracy.
According to Tzor, the country is already experiencing the “tens of millions” of counterfeit fabric textile products.
However, she said that the government is not looking at any legal mechanisms yet to tackle the illegal imports.
“There is no legal framework to enforce the rules that are in place now,” she explained.
“What we have to do is to educate the public on how to prevent the counterfeit and to get them to understand that they are not allowed to use counterfeit textiles.”
Tzedek’s research is based on the opinions of experts.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.