Bolton Footwear is one of Southern Africa’s foremost footwear companies, comprising of four factories with an unparalleled ability in the manufacture of footwear. We are also active in the footwear wholesale trade.

The ranges of some brands are complemented by imported footwear where the group is not active in the type of construction of footwear, or when volumes are uneconomical to manufacture.

All footwear offered by the Group is targeted at defined market niches, competitively priced and manufactured from the highest quality of leather and raw material available.

Seasonal advertising campaigns are launched on a national scale in magazines and national newspapers. In-store promotions and point-of-sale display materials support retailers. Participative advertising with major customers is also undertaken from time to time.

All brands are packaged in attractive boxes which are coordinated to complement the national advertising campaigns.

The Group’s four footwear production plants in Great Brak River, Oudtshoorn and Cape Town produce 8 000 pairs of high-quality leather footwear per day.

Our Divisions

All our divisions are targeted at defined market niches, competitively priced and manufactured from the highest quality of leather and raw material available.

  1. Watson Shoes

    Men’s and Ladies footwear by Watson Shoes comprise of handstitched moccasins and sandals. The footwear is marketed under several locally developed brands. Some footwear is imported for wholesale under top-end international brands.

  2. Barker Footwear

    Barker Footwear was established in 1933, when Ernest Barker from Earls Barton in England brought a small group of skilled craftsmen to Cape Town with the intention of setting up a shoe factory in the shadow of Table Mountain. This successful venture was further reinforced in 1952 when the company acquired the rights to manufacture shoes under the Crockett & Jones brand.

  3. Jordon & Co

    Jordan & Co has been a leading marketer and distributor of quality footwear to the South African Market since 1899. The company maintains a dominant position in South African footwear environment due to its dynamic management team, high levels of technical expertise, superior product quality and highly experienced work force.

Our Mission

Bolton Footwear’s mission is to remain a sustainable business which fairly rewards all stakeholders, commensurate with their respective interests and contributions.  This is to be achieved through meeting the needs of the markets with quality, value-for-money footwear and superior service.

Certificates & Statements

A Brief History

The earliest history of Bolton Footwear dates back to 1859. Charles Searle, an immigrant from England, settled as a tollkeeper at Great Brak River. Like many South Africans living in remote areas, he began making his own rugged leather veldschoen stitch-down boots which he supplied to the operators of the ox-wagon trains transporting goods between Cape Town in the West and Port Elizabeth in the East.

In the decades that followed, the company diversified its interests, incorporating a tannery, sawmill, a timber home construction division, retail shops, as well as automotive sales and services. During the 1990’s it dis-invested from all activities which were not related to footwear.

The Company was first listed on The Johannesburg Stock Exchange in 1949 as Searles Holdings under the Clothing, Footwear and Textiles Sector. In 1980 the company was bought by Mr Desmond Bolton and following the rationalization and reconstruction of the Group, was renamed Bolton Footwear in 1987.

The Company was delisted from The Johannesburg Stock Exchange at the end of 2000 and now trades as Bolton Footwear (Pty) Ltd.

Board of Directors

The board of directors of Bolton Footwear has a good balance between executive and non-executive directors. The Chairman of the Board is a non-executive director. The board meets regularly, monitors the performance of the Group and effectively controls the company and its management by being involved in all material decisions.

The executive directors are employed under the company’s standard employment contract and are subject to the normal notice periods of three months.

The Board of Directors which has three regular meetings a year and may meet at other times as necessary, has three sub-committees:

Finance Review Committee
The committee, established in 1988, has terms of reference which clearly set out its scope and objectives. The Chairman of this committee is a non-executive director. The external auditors have unrestricted access to this committee. The Finance Review Committee reviews the effectiveness of internal controls in the group with reference to the findings of both the external auditors and Group Management.

Remuneration Committee
The remuneration committee of the company comprises two non-executive directors who approve the remuneration and terms of employment of all executive directors as well as the adjustments, in general, of the remuneration packages of all non-unionized staff members.

Social and Ethics Committee
The committee consists of three members including one executive and one non-executive director who chairs the committee.

Corporate Governance

Bolton Footwear (Proprietary) Limited subscribes to the Code of Corporate Practices and Conduct as set out in the King Report on Corporate Governance and the directors are satisfied that in all material respects it complies with the recommendations of the code.

Approval of the Annual Financial Statements

The manner of presentation of the financial statements, the selection of accounting policies and the integrity of the financial information is the responsibility of the directors.

Internal Control

No formal internal audit functions are performed. To meet its responsibility, management maintains a system of internal accounting controls designed to provide reasonable assurance that transactions are concluded in accordance with management’s authority and that assets are adequately controlled and protected against loss. The system includes an appropriate delegation of authority and segregation of responsibilities. It is supported by policies and procedures which are regularly reviewed and, if necessary, modified in response to changes in business conditions.

There are, however, inherent limitations in any control system. In requiring management to implement appropriate controls, the directors take into account that the cost of maintaining a control system should not exceed the benefits to be derived.

The proper maintenance of internal control systems of the decentralized operations is primarily the responsibility of the management of those operations. However, these controls are independently reviewed on a regular basis and tested by financial department staff members.

Company Detail and Addresses

Company Registration Number


Registered Office

Charles Street (P O Box 1)
Great Brak River


Moore Stephens


ABSA Bank Limited


Millers Incorporated – George

Holding Company

Cargo Carriers Holdings (Proprietary) Limited

Associated operating investee companies

BBF Safety Group (Pty) Ltd
Mossop-Western Leathers

Fellow subsidiaries

Cargo Carriers Limited
Hallmark Motor Group Limited