IN QUOTES | Ramaphosa urges SA to put action behind 'buy local' message

10 March 2021 - 10:50 By unathi nkanjeni
President Cyril Ramaphosa. File photo.
President Cyril Ramaphosa. File photo.
Image: Jairus Mmutle/GCIS

President Cyril Ramaphosa has encouraged South Africans to put action behind the “buy local” message, saying preaching is not enough.

Ramaphosa delivered the virtual keynote address at the Proudly South African Summit and Expo 2021 on Tuesday.

He said given the global economic climate, SA could anticipate decreased demand for goods, products and services, even from traditional export markets.

Ramaphosa said the government, state-owned enterprises, businesses, individuals and leaders need to set an example and ensure that local products are used.

Here are five takeouts from his address:

Keeping jobs at home

“We need to demonstrate that buying local is about investing in quality, sustaining local businesses and 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.”

Localisation champions

“In my state of the nation address (Sona) last month, I spoke about increasing local production and reducing our dependence on imported goods, and bringing more SMMEs into the formal economy by introducing small business local procurement thresholds for the public sector.

“We are also working to identify localisation champions to help drive import replacement programmes across various industries and for specific projects.”

27 sectors for local procurement

“Another element of our recovery plan, our infrastructure build programme, has massive potential for job creation and local business development.

“If local procurement is to be at the scale and impact we envisage, we have to deepen our collaboration. Through legislation, we have designated 27 sectors for local procurement by the public sector.”

Furniture and plastic industries master plans in the final stages

“The master plans that have been concluded are paying off. These are in the automotive industry, clothing, textiles, footwear and leather industry, poultry industry and the sugar industry.

“Other master plans in their final stages are for the furniture and plastics industries. These plans work to ensure that the respective value chains are localised for the benefit of the South African economy and the creation of jobs.”

Be proudly South African

“To support these initiatives, we must intensify our efforts to persuade the ordinary consumer about the importance of buying local.

“We must ask every South African to take a conscious decision to buy local goods. Our message must be that wherever you may be in the country, be proudly South African.”