Speaking at the 2021 Proudly South African Summit and Expo President Cyril Ramaphosa appealed to all South Africans to buy more local products and work on getting these products into export markets.
The President acknowledged the effects that the global pandemic has had on many businesses such as worsening economic conditions, consumers opting to buy cheaper imported goods and significant changes in consumer spending.
These factors have resulted in the downscaling of businesses and some being forced to close down.
“It is not enough to preach the ‘buy local’ message. We need to practice it. As government, as state-owned enterprises, as businesses, as individuals and as leaders, we need to set an example.”
“We need to demonstrate that buying local is about investing in quality, in sustaining local businesses, and in keeping jobs at home,” Ramaphosa said.
The President announced that some of the measures that the government will implement include lowering the barriers to entry in starting a business in the country, as well as working on eradicating the illegal importation of goods into the country.
Twenty-seven sectors have also been identified for local procurement by the public sector. The sectors include the automotive industry, clothing, textiles, footwear and leather industry, poultry industry, sugar industry, furniture and plastics industries.
“The plans include significant investment commitments from both government and stakeholders to drive up productivity and employment,” the president says.
The sectoral master plans include the following aims and achievements:
- Automotive: aiming to double the number of job opportunities through increasing the level of local content in vehicles assembled in South Africa from 39% to 60%.
- Poultry: approximately a million additional chickens have been available for sale on a weekly basis.
- Sugar: local soft drink manufacturers have agreed to obtain 80% of their sugar requirements from local farmers.
- Clothing, textile, footwear and leather: half a billion Rand has been invested to expand local manufacturing sites.
In order to support the government’s initiatives, President Ramaphosa says local consumers need to understand the impact that buying local has.
“Wear local, travel local, eat local, watch local content, read local authors, support local music, and use local raw materials in your businesses,” the President says.
Ramaphosa appealed to South Africans to embrace how lekke local truly is.
“It is lekker for consumers, for businesses, for jobs, for inclusive prosperity and for our future,” the President concluded.