The president’s Sona shoes made in Pietermaritzburg

Senior designer at Dick Whittington Shoes Santosh Sivechurran holding the classic pair of Johnston and Murphy shoes they gave to President Cyril Ramaphosa for Sona.

Dick Whittington Shoes of Pietermaritzburg, presented President Cyril Ramaphosa with a classic pair of Johnston and Murphy shoes for Sona.

Johnston and Murphy footwear has a long tradition of being the official footwear brand of US Presidents since 1850. It has been manufactured by Dick Whittington Shoes, under license, for nearly 60 years.

Ramaphosa’s classic handcrafted pair of shoes were designed by Santosh Sivechurran, a senior designer for the company.

Tavonga Gonyora, the company’s director of sales and marketing, said witness of the weekend how it happened that they made the shoes.

“We received a special request from the National Union of Leather and Allied Workers to assemble a shoe for the President and we were more than happy to do so.”

Tavonga Gonyora, Sales and Marketing Director at Dick Whittington Shoes

“We decided on the type of footwear we wanted to give the president and thought a classic Oxford style would be more appropriate for the occasion,” he added.

“Before taking your first step into our handcrafted shoes, they would have gone through over 160 steps in our manufacturing process,” Gonyora said.

Arveen Boodhoo (General Manager), Santosh Sivechurran (Senior Designer) and Tavongo Gonyora (Director of Sales and Marketing) holding the classic pair of Johnston and Murphy shoes they gave to Chairman Cyril Ramaphosa for Sona.

He also said that most of the components and materials used in making their shoes are sustainably sourced from local suppliers.

The president wore his pair during Thursday night’s State of the Nation Address to support local manufacturing and job creation.

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