The Eastern Cape has over 150 years experience in wool and mohair production with valuable expertise in farming, technology, training, production and marketing. As such the Eastern Cape is a leading world producer of high-quality merino wool and mohair luxury fibres. Underpinning this is the recent opening of the Mohair Meander in the Cacadu District of the Eastern Cape which exhibits the province's rich heritage in wool and mohair production.
A significant proportion of the province's wool and mohair is exported unprocessed or semi-processed. As a result there is potential within the industry for growth and expansion in terms of downstream beneficiation activity. The core opportunity within this sector brings together design, technology and production to develop, design and produce a wide range of high-value wool and mohair products for export to the USA and EU.
Business and investment opportunities in the wool and mohair sector include:
- Primary production in livestock for mohair - opportunities exist for investors to become involved in the primary production of livestock to feed the growing international demand for mohair fibres.
- Wool and mohair yarns - opportunities exist for a value-add process to increase the range of pure and mixed fibre yarns for knitted and woven garments for the clothing and textile industry. This would include manufacturing processes associated with possible natural/synthetic fibre mixes.
- Integrating niche design with production - the rich cultural heritage of the Eastern Cape provides opportunities to integrate local design into clothing brands, especially when using wool and mohair. This would be a value-add process with direct links to national and international clothing companies.
- Production networks - in addressing rural economic development the province would support investors and business people who would be interested in partnering with networks of black small, medium and micro enterprise (SMME) weavers in producing luxury goods with an Eastern Cape, South African and African design identity.