World Class Manufacturing


The World Class Manufacturing Programme is the cornerstone of cluster activity and is directed towards operational upgrading. The programme content is industry driven and based on global best practices explored continuously through research and international study trips, both within and outside of the clothing and textiles industry. The World Class Manufacturing Programme is designed to address the following industry challenges:

  • Operational Process Improvement
  • Performance Measurement
  • Skills Development
  • Supplier Development

1. Benchmarking

The foundation for determining Cluster interventions has been and will remain the annual member firm performance benchmarks. These benchmarks contribute to the maintenance of a national industry performance database (in partnership with the KZN CTC) and situate individual firm performance against local and international comparators across a range of key financial and operational performance metrics. Based on a robust and proven methodology, the benchmarking database is the only operational database in the country. The benchmark database also acts as a means to monitor the effectiveness of the Cluster over time at both the individual firm and regional levels.

2. WCM training

Positive change requires leadership, and leadership in turn requires an understanding of the type of positive change that is required. Each year the Cluster runs an introductory WCM workshop series tailored to meet the various levels within an organisation, as well as a series of innovation sessions addressing more specific industry trends or challenges.

3. Best Practice Study Tours

To ensure that the learning from the support projects and from other practices are circulated and amplified, the Cluster organises and hosts best practice study tours to exemplary firms around South Africa. By providing access to factories that have successfully undergone change, visitors learn the practicalities of manufacturing upgrading.


The DTI-funded, IDC-administered Clothing and Textiles Competitiveness Improvement Programme (CTCIP) is a medium-term World Class Manufacturing support programme. Amongst other interventions, this three-year project provides participating firms with expert lean manufacturing consulting support on the factory floor for the full duration of the programme to assist with the implementation of key objectives identified during the benchmarking process. There are currently 12 CCTC firms participating in this programme, which builds on a previous successful programme run over 2012-2015.