Windhoek – President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged South Africans to support indigenous business initiatives by buying local goods so that “Proudly South African” becomes more than just rhetoric.
Giving the keynote address at the Proudly South African Summit and Expo 2021 this week, the president said the economic challenges brought by the coronavirus pandemic made the Proudly South African initiative all the more significant.
“As government, as state-owned enterprises, as businesses, as individuals and as businesses 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. We have to step up our efforts not just to get locals to buy local, but to improve the entry of our goods, products and services into export markets as well. We have to save existing jobs and stimulate the economy for new ones to be created,” President Ramaphosa said.
The South African government, he added, was working to lower the barriers to market entry to make it easier to establish and grow a business in the country. To support existing manufacturers, the government is enforcing yet to be disclosed measures to stop illegal importation of goods which weaken the competitiveness of local goods.
The state has designated 27 sectors for local procurement by the public sector as part of a recovery plan and infrastructure upgrading initiative that should stimulate local businesses.
“In my State of the Nation Address last month, I spoke about increasing production and reducing our dependence on imported goods. I spoke of bringing more (small businesses) into the formal economy by introducing small business local procurement thresholds for the public sector,” President Ramaphosa noted.
Major sectors being targeted for locally-stimulated revival and/or growth include automotive, clothing, textiles, footwear, leather, poultry, sugar, furniture and plastic.