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11 October 2019
FIRST OF ITS KIND - UWC and WEARSA launch incubator clothing store at UWC Bellville Campus

(Published - 11 October 2019)

The University of the Western Cape (UWC), in collaboration with WearSA, is launching a retail clothing store at the Community and Health Sciences Faculty building in the Bellville CBD. UWC and WearSA have entered into a historic five year agreement, making this the first design and entrepreneurship incubator store of its kind in South Africa.

Eighteen students have been identified as the first intake of the incubator store. They have received training in every area relevant to this sector. Students who work and learn in this incubator will receive a monthly stipend from WearSA.

Students on campus will have direct access to a space that focuses on the growth and development of knowledge of the local manufacturing industry. WearSA also recognizes that in order to encourage students to wear locally manufactured clothing, it needs to consider affordability, which is why prices have been adjusted accordingly. The store will stock garments from the following well known local brands: Magents, X94, DOD, Blue Collar White Collar and WEAR.

“It is a pioneering concept to promote local procurement and hence local jobs, while at the same time providing practical entrepreneurial development skills to students.” said Andre Kriel, General Secretary: South African Clothing and Textile Workers Union (SACTWU).

Charleen Duncan, Director: Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at UWC, said it is crucial for students to think about job creation and not only job seeking. 

“We want to build an entrepreneurial mindset and a pioneering spirit in all UWC graduates. This opportunity exposes students to the local manufacturing as well as the retail sectors.” said Duncan. 

“Incubators are vital within an academic space if we want to enhance the development of an entrepreneurial mindset. The store will also be a space for student designers to work with established designers and to have an opportunity to sell their garments. The importance of investing in youth, innovation, entrepreneurship, and the manufacturing sector cannot be ignored if we want to meet the goal of creating the additional 11 million jobs by 2030 that the National Development Plan refers to.”

Wayne Van Der Rheede, CEO of WearSA, added: “This is a first for Wear South African and Proudly South African in our campaign to strengthen ‘Buy South Africa First’, ‘Buy Locally Designed Manufactured Apparel’. The decision to implement this incubator store by the University of the Western Cape shows foresight by contributing meaningfully to address the high unemployment rate in our country.”

SACTWU is in support of this initiative as it aligns with the broader vision of increasing job opportunities and strengthening the clothing and textile sector. “We hope that important teething lessons can be learned from this initiative, and for its successes to be duplicated at other universities.” Kriel concluded.

Launch details: 

Tuesday, 14 October 2019
UWC Community Health Sciences
14 Blakenberg street, Bellville 
18pm for 18:30pm
Dress: semi-formal 
RSVP by Monday 13 October:

For an interview related to this pioneering project, please contact Tarryn Temmers, a Media Consultant for the Centre of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, on 074 3502590 or via email at

Social media handles to tag:
Instagram: @uwcentrepreneur @uwconline @wearsa 
Twitter: @uwcentrepreneur @uwconline @wearsa
Facebook: @uwcentrepreneurship @uwconline @wearsa

Hashtags: #wearsa #uwc