Choose to buy local: President Ramaphosa

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

President Cyril Ramaphosa has encouraged South Africans - whether individuals or businesses - to always choose to buy local to support livelihoods, small business development and job creation.

The President said that by buying locally-produced goods, people will be supporting investment in research, new technology and innovation.

“As long as we are producing quality local goods, we should also be buying them,” he said.

The President was delivering a pre-recorded message to Proudly SA’s Buy Local Summit and Expo at the Industrial Development Corporation campus in Sandton on Tuesday.

He said there are a number of aims for the summit, including assisting government departments and agencies to use procurement legislation and procedures to drive demand for local goods.

The second aim, the President said, is to encourage corporate South Africa to expand its use of locally-made goods and services.

“Thirdly, to educate consumers on labels of origin and on their role in contributing to job creation by making ‘Buy Local’ choices.

“This year’s programme is versatile, dynamic and informative, with sessions on technical innovation, the benefits of Special Economic Zones and workshops for entrepreneurs on intellectual property and other issues,” he said.

Apart from the vast array of products on supermarket shelves that are locally produced, South Africa is a producer of goods and services in agriculture and agro-processing, clothing, textiles, automotive, furniture, medical equipment and pharmaceuticals, among others.

The President said a growing local market enables producers to expand and to start exploring export opportunities in other markets.

“We manufacture many of the vehicles that are exported to the rest of the world. The BMW X3, just like the Ford Ranger and the Mercedes Benz C-Class, is manufactured and assembled here in South Africa. The employment value chain in this sector is enormous – from the factory to dealerships, components and spare parts manufacturing, after sales service, mechanics and sales personnel,” he said.

The President also lauded the output of the creative industries as extensive. He said day by day, SA artists are gaining new audiences around the world.

“We see for example the runaway success of amapiano, and how it is part of the music scene in many parts of the world.  More and more locally produced films are being seen on screens across the globe and on the world’s largest streaming platforms.

“Whether it’s in music, literature, art or fashion, South Africans are setting trends, locally and beyond our borders,” he said.

Importance of local production


President Ramaphosa said the pandemic has both exposed the fragility of global supply chains and revealed the great capacity in South Africa for innovation and adaptation in manufacturing.

In the space of just two years, through collaboration and out of necessity, South Africa managed to build local production capability in ventilators, hand sanitisers, medical-grade face masks and gloves, vaccines, and therapeutic drugs and anaesthetics.

“Not only did we produce these goods to meet local needs, but also to meet the needs of other countries on the continent. Local production is important because it encourages national pride in the goods, services and products made on our home soil,” he said.

The President added that he supports the growth of small businesses and the expansion of larger firms. Local production also supports the manufacturing sector. 

Buy and wear local 

In his State of the Nation Address in February, the President made a point of mentioning that his suit and shoes were made by local producers.

He did so to draw attention to the quality of local goods and to the capability of local manufacturers, and to encourage all South Africans to support the Proudly SA campaign.

“It is not enough, however, to encourage people to buy locally. We need to work together to create an environment that supports local companies.

“That is why we have partnered with stakeholders in various industries to develop sector master plans that have already increased investment and production in several industries,” he said.

To create an environment more conducive to local production, the President said they are reducing red tape and removing the barriers to entry for emerging companies.

“We are undertaking far-reaching reforms in energy, telecommunications and in our ports and railways to improve the competitiveness of our products. We all need to make a contribution to this effort – from government and State-owned companies, business and labour, to producers and consumers – because we all benefit from this effort,” he said.

President Ramaphosa said the summit and expo are a valuable opportunity to create greater awareness and appreciation about the benefits and transformative power of buying local. –