REPRESENTATIVES involved in the mohair industry from around the world will descend on Jansenville for the International Mohair Summit in October.
A partnership between private industry and government, the summit – which was last held in 2009 – will showcase not only the Karoo town of Jansenville but the entire mohair region and country, which produces about 50% of mohair products worldwide.
South Africa is recognised as one of the most reliable sources of mohair in the world because angora goats grow their fleeces year-round.
Mohair South Africa chairman Reinhold du Randt said more than 350 international representatives from the textile, fashion, retail and agricultural sectors of the mohair industry would be invited to the summit. He said the summit, from October 30 to November 2, would offer a platform to showcase the region and an opportunity to discuss the sustainability of the industry.
“The summit adds to the economic wellbeing of the region with the beautification of the town hall, infrastructure upgrades and increased tourism to Jansenville. The summit is driven by both government and the private sector,” Du Randt said.
The 2009 summit was the brainchild of Ikwezi mayor Sizwe Mngwevu, who is again involved this year. At the launch of the summit yesterday, Mngwevu said mohair was one of the natural resources of rural Jansenville and offered an opportunity to create jobs and alleviate poverty in the region.
“The group of emerging farmers we introduced during the 2009 summit have since grown into small commercial farmers. It is important to establish industries to uplift people,” Mngwevu said.
Cacadu district municipality mayor Khunjuzwa Kekana said small-scale farmers who only invested in livestock should also be encouraged to farm with mohair in the cluster – not only in Ikwezi Municipality but also in the Camdeboo, Baviaans and Sundays River municipalities.
“Mohair can bring change. In Graaff- Reinet my own mother worked with mohair by spinning it. Mohair can bring a better life for all residents of the Cacadu District Municipality,” Kekana said.
The summit programme will include an investors’ conference (by invitation) taking place on the Wednesday, October 30. This will provide an opportunity for the government to engage possible local and international investors and present them with an investor’s package offering incentive schemes for land, rates, water and electricity.
Other activities planned for the summit include shearing demonstrations, farm workers’ workshops and the display of mohair products. One of the high-profile speakers will be Colin Cowie, a well known event planner and author, formerly from the Eastern Cape.
Online registration has opened for both the conference and exhibitions facets of the summit.