Manufacturing and agriculture have always been a major contributor to the South African economy. A large percentage of this contribution has historically come from imports, but the tide is fast turning: South Africans are now producing for South Africans and the world.
Buying locally grown, produced or manufactured goods and services is a key contributor to stimulating the economy. Localisation of goods and services fuels new employment and new opportunities for small and medium enterprises, which create a big percentage of new jobs.
In this era, we are witnessing the dawn of young creators, and it is enlightening. South Africa’s youth is buying into agriculture more than ever before, (in one year, 800 young people enquired about farming from the African Farmers’ Association of South Africa (Afasa), an institution that supports emerging young farmers, and 15 571 job opportunities for young professionals in the field of agriculture opened up. According to a government land audit based on deeds office data released in February 2018, South Africa has 419,005 farms averaging at 264 hectares each. In addition, we are home to some of the world’s best designers, artists and creatives. Creative platforms like Design Indaba which promote the work of creatives around the continent provides an excellent opportunity to market African design aesthetic and is a typical showcase of what we have to offer. South Africa’s diversified manufacturing industry shows great potential and ticks all the right boxes to compete in the global market. It’s no wonder local knitwear brand MaXhosa by Laduma Ngxokolo ended up on Hollywood’s most-esteemed red carpets!
So why should we make our shopping carts more local?
In addition to benefitting the manufacturing and agriculture sectors, buying local accelerates the adoption of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for business and ensuring that in in the field of e-commerce we stay abreast with global trends.
Geraldine Mitchley, Visa Senior Director for digital solutions -Sub-Saharan Africa told Fin24 that e-commerce in South Africa is estimated to have brought in R10bn during 2017, compared to just reaching R9bn in 2016. “Local internet retailers are modifying channels to be able to add more value for their consumer base. They are simplifying and improving accessibility and offering more benefits,” she said.
“Companies are eagerly implementing a variety of digital initiatives to transform the customer experience.”
Think of this: every time you support a local entrepreneur, you are changing a life. South Africa is rich in natural resources and talented people, a formidable combo that deserves enormous investment. It is up to us to believe in South Africa the way the rest of the world does.
Additional reporting: Fin24.com