Industry | Labour | Government - Developing the South African Furniture Industry for the benefit of all stakeholders.

South African Furniture Initiative

Established in 2016, the South African Furniture Initiative (SAFI) stands as a collaborative effort uniting industry, labor, and government. With a shared commitment to fostering the development and growth of the South African furniture industry, SAFI strives to create a thriving ecosystem that benefits all stakeholders involved.

SAFI envisions the South African furniture sector gaining both local and international recognition within specific market segments by the year 2025. This vision is anchored in the pursuit of fostering employment, spurring productivity growth, and catalysing positive transformation across the entire furniture value chain.

Our Objectives

At SAFI, our core objectives are structured to provide comprehensive support to the South African furniture industry. These objectives include:

1. Provide Market Intelligence Information: Offering invaluable market insights to empower industry players with the knowledge needed for informed decision-making.

2. Facilitate Training, Mentoring, and Support Services: Nurturing talent and expertise within the industry through targeted training programs, mentorship initiatives, and various support services.

3. Promote South African Furniture Manufacturing and Design: Advocating for the excellence of South African craftsmanship by promoting both manufacturing prowess and innovative furniture design.


4. Facilitate Market Access: Spearheading efforts to provide easier access to both domestic and international markets, with a particular focus on uplifting small enterprises and those owned by previously disadvantaged individuals (PDIs).

5. Initiate and Implement Growth Programs: Identifying and fostering the development and implementation of strategic initiatives and programs to enhance the overall performance of the South African Furniture Industry.

6. Sustain and Create Employment Opportunities: Aiming to sustain existing employment while simultaneously creating new job opportunities across the furniture industry’s value chain.

7. Build Strategic Relationships: Facilitating the development of strategic relationships throughout the furniture value chain, fostering collaboration and synergy among industry stakeholders.

At SAFI, we are dedicated to realising these objectives, driving the South African furniture industry towards a future marked by innovation, sustainability, and global prominence. Join us in our mission to shape a vibrant and prosperous future for the South African furniture landscape.

Our Journey


SAFI Established

Organisational Institutionalisation

100% Design London Exhibition


RPL - 100
Skills programme – 40
Learnership programme - 90
Bursary - 5
Work Integrated Learning – 20


Furniture Upholstery Qualification registered with SAQA


Established SARS Furniture Forum
Inaugural Annual SAFI Furniture Forum
FIMP - Furniture Industry Master Process Commenced
FACIM Exhibition - Mozambique


Furniture Designer Qualification registered with SAQA
SAFI Furniture Directory launched


Furniture Industry’s skills included as part of the Department of Higher Education and Training Skills Strategy that support the South African Economic Recovery and Reconstruction Plan (ERRP)
SAFI submitted a support report at the end of March 2021 for the rebate of steel products used in the furniture industry - approved in 2022
Amended Furniture Tariff headings effective 1 January 2021
A full rebate for the importation of warp knit fabrics


City of Cape Town Light Manufacturing Support Programme - phase 1
Launched the Customs Training for lounge seating HS code 94016110,20 & 30
FIMP - Furniture Challenge Fund


City of Cape Town Light Manufacturing Support Programme – phase 2 – Market access and business mentorship

Applied for new and amended tariff subheadings to be effective January 2024

Continued SARS Customs Training on lounge furniture including factory visits. Drafted training manual for Case Goods to commence training in 2024

Public Procurement – Input to Public Procurement Bill. Presentation to Dept. of Education on local procurement

Skills Development – Bed & Mattress and Kitchen Skills Projects launched

Representation on Value Chain Analysis Project Steering Committee

Partnered with the Localisation Support Fund on hosting of Lean Manufacturing Webinars

Participation on all six Furniture Industry Master Plan Task Teams. Chair of Export, Raw Materials and Transformation Task Teams

Commenced monitoring of government tenders

Commenced development of new website including Associate Member Directory, and Employment Portal

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