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Competitive Advantage Challenges Affecting the Apparel Manufacturing Industry of South Africa (AMISA): Application of Porter’s Factor Conditions

Authors: S. Mbatha, A. Mastamet-Mason


This paper applied factor conditions from Porter’s Diamond Model (1990) to understand the various challenges facing the AMISA. Factor conditions highlighted in Porter’s model are grouped into two groups namely, basic and advance factors. Two AMISA associations representing over 10 000 employees were interviewed. The largest Clothing, Textiles and Leather (CTL) apparel retail group was also interviewed with a government department implementing the industrialization policy were interviewed. The paper points out that AMISA have basic factor conditions necessary for competitive advantage in the apparel industries. However advance factor creation has proven to be a challenge for AMISA, Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and government. Poor infrastructural maintenance has contributed to high manufacturing costs and poor quick response technologies. The use of Porter’s Factor Conditions as a tool to analyze the sector’s competitive advantage challenges and opportunities has increased knowledge regarding factors that limit the AMISA’s competitiveness. It is therefore argued that other studies on Porter’s Diamond model factors like Demand conditions, Firm strategy, structure and rivalry and Related and supporting industries can be used to analyze the situation of the AMISA for the purposes of improving competitive advantage.

Keywords: compliance rule, factor conditions, advance skills, apparel manufacturing industry

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