26 November 2012
Promotion of locally manufactured goods is critical to South Africa’s growth and job creation, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said on Monday.
“All of us have a vested interest in promoting our country as an investment and tourism destination of choice,” Motlanthe said at Proudly South African’s “Buy Local” summit in Johannesburg.
Motlanthe said Proudly South African had, since its inception, sought to “whet the appetite” of domestic and international consumers for locally produced goods.
“No doubt this has contributed to the building of national pride, patriotism and social cohesion,” he said.
He said interventions by the government, such as the local procurement accord signed last year, would go a long way towards ensuring competitiveness, investment and labour retention through locally produced goods.
“As we deliberate on ways to improve the sale of locally manufactured products, we must be reminded that we live in a global village where goods and services no longer recognise borders … Thus as we seek to promote South African products, we must do so well aware that our people are spoiled for choice.”
Motlanthe was accompanied by Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies and Economic Development Minister Ibrahim Patel.
Davies said there were a range of sector specific programmes to assist different sectors of the economy.
“Our interventions seek to ensure that those manufacturers are going to be competitive, they are going to assist in providing jobs and are environmentally sustainable,” Davies said.
He said that through the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), more than R15-billion had been provided to support the country’s motor manufacturing industry, with spin-off effects for the motor component industry.
“We’ve seen advances in agro-processing industry in this country, we’ve seen progress being made by the film industry, but we still have a long way to go,” Davies said. “We have agreed as government that our main response to the global economic challenge is to invest in infrastructure.”
Through the local procurement accord, local companies were set to benefit from the infrastructure build.
Proudly SA CEO Leslie Sedibe said South Africans needed to learn more about the benefits of buying local.
“By buying local you are not only creating jobs but you are contributing to the broader development of Brand South Africa; and local products are cheap because there are not extra tax costs,” he said.