Buy local to support job creation

Thursday, November 15, 2018

South African celebrities on Thursday appealed to locals to support products and services made on home soil as a way of retaining and creating much needed jobs.

“I think it’s really important for us to buy local, purely based on the fact that if we buy from ourselves, we can create more jobs for ourselves, so it makes sense to buy local,” said actress Talitha Ndima.

This as Proudly South African launched its annual Festive Season Campaign in Johannesburg. The campaign aims to get South Africans to buy locally made goods and services. 

Every year between November and January, the country experiences a massive spike in retail sales. This is predominantly due to the payment of bonuses, which coincides with the December holiday break and in recent years, the rise of the Black Friday phenomenon.

This year, 66% of South Africans are expected spend an average of R1600 on Black Friday bargains.

Black Friday, which originates in the United States, is an informal name for the day following Thanksgiving Day, which has been regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season, has in recent years started gaining traction in South Africa.

The frenzy will get underway on 23 November with some local shops extending the phenomena all the way to 25 November.

This, said Proudly South African, equates to billions of rand of spending, which - if harnessed for buying locally produced and manufactured goods - can represent many jobs retained and even more jobs created.

Radio personalities like Ukhozi FM’s Selby “Selboyonce” Mkhize, Rams Mabote and actresses including Moliehi Didie Makobane have rallied around the campaign, launched by the country’s Buy Local advocacy campaign.

Proudly SA seeks to influence procurement in public and private sectors, increase local production, influence consumers to buy local and stimulate job creation in line with government’s plans to revive the economy under the New Growth Path (NDP).

“I’m appealing to the South African market to buy more locally produced products because at the end of the day, this is our country. If we’re not proud of it, all the products that come from it and if we don’t promote our own products, who will do that for us?

“Furthermore we do need to find a way to make our economy to grow, we do need to create jobs and the best way to do so is to support our country South Africa and by buying local, said Makobane.

Makobane’s sentiments were shared by Proudly South African Chief Executive Officer Eustace Mashimbye, who said citizens are patriotic and willing to buy locally produced goods.

He said research conducted by Brand SA had shown that 46% of South Africans would buy locally made products, even if the product in question costs more. The research also stated that only 1% of South Africans will never buy locally produced products.

“We need to make sure that South Africans prioritise these products,” he said, adding that locally made wares and services can help fight the scourge of rising unemployment, poverty and inequality.

“Why buy local? It contributes to the retention of jobs, the creation of jobs and contributes to grow the economy, aids in skills transfer,” he said.

He stressed that locally made products are of a high quality.

“We have to make sure that we get South Africans to understand that the economic impact of their purchasing decision makes a difference to a whole lot of people that are employed,” Mashimbye said.

The Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) released by Statistics South African recently showed that the number of unemployed people rose by 127 000 to 6.2 million in the third quarter of 2018.

In the third quarter, the unemployment rate increased by 0.3% to reach 27.5%. –