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South Africa starts re-opening

May 15, 2020 South Africa
South Africa starts re-opening
The country is now on Alert Level 4 and started to alleviate some of the measures put in place in recent weeks to fight the diffusion of Covid-19 in South Africa
The first cases of positive cases for Covid-19 in South Africa were only reported in March. The latest numbers confirm more than 15 thousand who tested positive with the new coronavirus and 264 deaths registered so far.

SAFIA, the local footwear association, tells the World Footwear that certain categories of clothing, footwear and bedding are permissible for sale by retailers during Alert Level 4 which the authorities have just announced will move to Level 3 on the 1st of June. For footwear, the following categories are included: boots; slippers; closed-toe heels; closed-toe flat shoes; sneakers and trainers; smart closed-toe shoes; or casual closed-toe shoes.

South Africa Footwear Industry


According to the World Footwear Yearbook (Available HERE) in 2018 South Africa was the third largest exporter of footwear in Africa, just after Tunisia and Morocco. With an annual consumption of 243 million pairs and production of only 57 million pairs, in 2018 the country imported 215 million pairs of shoes.

Recent numbers by SAFLIA indicate that in 2019 total footwear production was almost identical to 2018 (56.92 million pairs in 2019 compares to 56.97 million pairs last year). Employment in 2019 was 2.8% down and exports declined by 9.5% on the revised figure for 2018. The same source indicates that imports were down by 5.8% in 2019.

Related Organizations

  • SAFLEC - South African Footwear and Leather Export Council

    SAFLEC - South African Footwear and Leather Export Council

    South Africa
  • SAFLIA - Southern African Footwear and Leather Industries Association

    SAFLIA - Southern African Footwear and Leather Industries Association

    South Africa