Textile Federation of South Africa (Texfed)

Textile Federation of South Africa (Texfed)

Texfed is the national body representing the manufacturers of textiles, including yarns, fabrics and made up textiles for the apparel, household and industrial textile sectors of the downstream industry in South Africa. It is the umbrella body for a number of trade associations in the textile industry including the South African Cotton Textile Manufacturers’ Association (SACTMA), the South African Worsted Manufacturers’ Trade Association (SAWMTA), and the National Fabric Knitters’ Trade Association (NFKTA).

Walter Simeoni served with distinction as President of Texfed for the years 2001 to 2005 being elected by his peers to the post on two occasions. During his term as President he was instrumental in introducing a number new ways of operation and motivated the development of a strategy for the South African textile industry which served as a precursor to the development by the South African Government of a Customised Sector Programme for the textile and clothing industries, which forms the basis for industry interventions by Government. Walter also championed the fight against illegal textile and clothing imports and assisted in alerting the authorities to this problem.

Brian Brink
Executive Director of Texfed

South African Cotton Textile Manufacturers’ Association (SACTMA)

SACTMA is representative of a wide range of textile manufacturing including the spinning and weaving of cotton and cotton/synthetic blends; the weaving of 100% synthetic fabrics from spun and filament yarns; fabric coating and proofing activities and the manufacture of thread, narrow fabrics and trims.

Walter Simeoni served as the vice-Chairman of SACTMA from November 1993 to November 1996 and as Chairman from November 1996 to 2000. During the period as chairman he ably led the cotton spinners’ team in the annual cotton price negotiations and was successful in negotiating a change in the cotton lint market in South Africa from a centralised one channel market to a free market.

Brian Brink
SACTMA Secretary

Spinners Committee



Mr Walter Simeoni was made an honorary life member of the International Textile Manufactures Federation ITMF – Spinners Committee in 2009.

The Spinners Committee was constituted in November 1985, with the intention of creating a strong spinners’ voice in all matters of interest to the industry. The Committee is dedicated to supporting the development of fibre based on modern spinning requirements.

In achieving these objectives, the Committee also provides advice relating to the harvesting, handling, ginning and contracting of cotton and promotes the instrument testing of raw cotton.

The Committee convenes meetings with other interested parties and in particular with leading cotton merchants and their associations, as well as with private and public national and international organizations, visits cotton producing countries with the purpose of fostering an interchange of ideas between breeders, farmers, ginners, traders and spinners, and encourages the progressive replacement of the traditional cotton classification with instrument classing like HVI.

The Committee also maintains a regular dialogue with spinning machine and instrument testing manufacturers.

Mr Simeoni during his many years as a full member of the Committee made an outstanding contribution to the work, never failing to participate in meetings and visits to countries where cotton is grown. His intimate knowledge of all facets of the textile industry, from spinning and weaving to final product development offered the Committee an enormous expertise which was invaluable in all the deliberations. His keen observance of the critical issues in the factories visited always left the hosts grateful for the advice and guidance given by the Committee and in particular Mr Simeoni.

Mr Simeoni was also very experienced in the cultivation of cotton and the qualities produced, always extolling the importance of quality and treating the raw material cotton with the greatest of respect. So many industrialists just look at cotton as one more raw material. Not so with Mr Simeoni, whose honesty and dedication to the cause of cotton gained him enormous respect both in the field and in cotton ginneries.

We were therefore honoured when Mr Simeoni retired that he accepted to maintain close contact with the Committee as an Honorary Life Member. In this way we shall always be able to call on him for his wisdom and guidance.


Chairman ITMF Spinners Committee
Past President of the International Cotton Association Ltd in Liverpool
Board Member Brazilian Commodity Exchange
Advisory Board Member Better Cotton Initiative BCI
Chairman of the Task Force for Commercial Standardization of Instrument Testing of Cotton CSITC – ICAC
International Advisor for the Brazilian National Cotton Association ABRAPA

Cotton South Africa

21 September 2010


Following the compulsory dissolution of the South African Cotton Board in 1998, all role players in the cotton industry decided to form a non-profit seeking service providing company representing the entire cotton pipeline, namely Cotton South Africa. Cotton SA’s main functions are the following: the rendering of information services to the cotton industry, the stimulation of the production and the usage of cotton and the enhancement of the marketability of cotton through research, the establishment of quality standards and norms as well as training. Cotton SA also serves as an industry forum for discussions of operational matters of common interest and acts as co-ordinator and facilitator for the development of the small-scale cotton grower sector.

Mr. Walter Simeoni was one of the founding members of Cotton SA and one of its ten directors. He represented the South African cotton spinning industry on Cotton SA’s Board of Directors from January 1998 until his retirement from the Board on 27 August 2009.

Mr. Simeoni also served as Cotton SA vice-chairman and executive committee member from 15 March 2005 until his retirement in 2009.

During his tenure as member of Cotton SA’s Board of Directors and against the background of his extensive experience in all matters relating to the cotton and textile industries, his frankness and constructive contributions over the years played a major role in making Cotton SA the success it is today. We are proud to have had Walter as part of our team and wish him the best of luck for the future.


Mr. Walter Simeoni

WS International
South Africa
Zurich, September 22, 2010
Dear Walter

Re. Your letter dated September 15, 2010

Thank you for your letter dated September 15, 2010.

It is a pleasure and honor to state the objectives of the International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF) in general and of its Spinners Committee as well as your important contributions to the continued success of both of them during your active time as Honorary Officer in the Federation in the past two decades.

The ITMF is an international association for the world’s textile industries, dedicated to keeping its world-wide membership constantly informed through surveys, studies and publications and through the organization of annual conferences, participating in the evolution of the industry’s value chain and publishing considered opinions on future trends and international developments.

Mr. Walter Simeoni served for many years in the ITMF Committee of Management, the highest authority of Federation, representing South Africa, before he was elected into the ITMF Board as Vice President in 2002. Four years later he was elected at the helmet of the Federation and served as ITMF President between 2006 and 2008. Mr. Simeoni was the first ITMF President from an African ITMF member association in the over 100 year-long history of the Federation. He guided the Federation in an extremely challenging period of transition which was marked firstly, by the phasing-out of the global quota system for textiles and clothing with all its implications for the global textile production and its trade, and secondly, by the transition from the former ITMF Director General, Dr. Herwig Strolz, who retired after 34 years to the current ITMF Director General in 2007.

The ITMF Spinners Committee was constituted with the intention of creating a strong spinners’ voice in all matters of interest to the industry. The Spinners Committee, which is composed of not more than 12 members, identified as its main objectives to support the development of quality cotton fiber based on modern spinning requirements, to provide advice relating to the harvesting, handling, ginning and contracting of cotton, and to promote the mechanical testing of raw cotton.

Mr. Walter Simeoni represented for many years until the end of 2009 as one of two African representatives the African spinning industry in this Committee. With his profound knowledge and vast experience in the cotton textile industry, Mr. Simeoni contributed immensely to the successful work of the Committee during its meetings. With his active participation, especially during the various country visits to cotton producing countries around the world, he helped building and conserving the excellent reputation of the ITMF Spinners Committee within the global cotton industry.

In recognition for his extraordinary commitment to the work of the Federation over a long period of time the ITMF Committee of Management unanimously elected Mr. Simeoni in 2008 as Honorary Life Member of the Federation. Likewise, the ITMF Spinners Committee unanimously elected Mr. Simeoni in 2009 as an Honorary Life Member of the Committee in recognition to his contributions to the work of the Committee.

We are glad indeed that you did not only follow and support the activities of the Federation during your active time as official representative of the South African textile and clothing industry but that you continue to participate in the activities of the Federation by attending the ITMF Annual Conference and the meetings of the ITMF Spinners Committee. We hope that this will be the case for many more years to come.

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