The True Cost of Importing Furniture into South Africa

Moving into a new apartment or house is an expensive exercise and always requires more furniture than you originally think. So where better to get those space fillers and tables than from discount and budget stores that sell cute put-it-together-yourself options. However there is a cost to buying this furniture beyond the limited lifespan they offer.

In 2009 the local furniture sector supported over 50,000 skilled and unskilled workers. By 2018 this number fell to 26,400 workers as big companies felt the pressure of cheap, imported furniture. We import around R6,9billion worth of furniture (mostly from China), all at the cost of local businesses. The most astounding statistic though is that of the 26,000 workers currently employed in the sector, 90% are employed by SMME’s. These are small businesses trying to restore the art of hand made wooden furniture and to provide clients with well made, custom designed pieces that have a story, a history, and a road map to supporting the economy of South Africa.

These statistics emboldened Ant and myself. We believe in this country and would love for it to be our home for us and our son, for many years to come. To be a part of the solution we need to encourage a move away from mass produced imported goods and provide excellent local alternatives to solve local problems.

 

And we plan on having fun while doing it.