On the 21st August 2014, it was 25 years since the first fabric rolled off the production lines at our plant in Westmead, Pinetown. The Textile industry was extremely different in those early days, employing 200,000 people in 300 different companies. The Frame group alone employed 25,000 people.
Dyefin started with 30 shareholders all attracted by the promise of better than average returns that could be expected from textiles companies. The industry was protected with high tariffs and there was nowhere else for clothing companies to source fabrics, other than local suppliers. This changed once South Africa became part of the world economy post 1994. We were exposed to competition from the likes of China and other low cost labour manufacturers. The majority of the shareholders soon sold out when they realized that it would not be an easy ride.
The fact now, that 25 years on, Dyefin is still going and in fact has grown from strength to strength is a credit to our dedicated and committed staff many of whom have 20 years plus service. The investment in training is now paying off as in the past two years we have seen a significant improvement in sub standards and rejects and also on time and full deliveries.
I must also thank the remaining shareholders including Ninian and Lester who have seen fit to invest heavily in Dyefin over the years, ensuring that we remain at the forefront of technological developments
Whilst we celebrate our success, we also must realise that there needs to be continual improvement and change if we are to be here for next 25 years.