The president’s message to South Africans this week was simple enough: “Support local.”
While delivering the virtual keynote address for the Proudly South African Summit and Expo 2021 on Tuesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa acknowledged the huge challenges the economy faced, and urged South Africans to support the turnaround strategy.
The overall strategy contains a mix of quick fixes and long-term plans, which will need time to bear fruit.
It is built on reinvigorating and establishing SA manufacturing, developing markets for products, promoting the purchase of local goods and services and a patriotic movement to support local. Certain industries are provided with incentives to boost sustainability.
Ramaphosa spoke in detail about sector specific “master plans” to stimulate production and encourage South Africans to back SA companies.
He said given the global economic climate, SA could anticipate, generally, decreased international demand for goods, products and services, even from traditional export markets.
Set an example
The president said the government, state-owned enterprises, businesses, individuals and leaders need to set an example and ensure that local products are used.
““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,” he said.
While there has been a notable recovery in many businesses in SA, the province and even here in the Midlands since the hard lockdown ended – and innovation has spawned many new business opportunities – the road back to full trading remains long and hard for many.
Ramaphosa’s call to arms reflects the requirements among local producers, manufacturers, farmers, service providers, lifestyle, tourism and hospitality operations, and education-related businesses to draw on support of South Africans and get back to full steam.
Travel and tourism is just one example, where those who had been planning to travel overseas and spend there, could turn their attention to the wealth of gems in the sector right here in SA. Imagine splashing out on a holiday in KwaZulu-Natal (Berg, bush, beach, city, game reserve, adventure…), plus SA arts, crafts, culture, food and wine, rather than putting the cash in another country’s pocket!
It is lekker for consumers, for businesses, for jobs, for inclusive prosperity and for our future. I would like this to be a large phenomenal movement. Each one of us can contribute to economic growth by buying local and supporting our SMMEs.#BuyLocal 🇿🇦 https://t.co/w5GlFfDC2Q
— Cyril Ramaphosa 🇿🇦 #StaySafe (@CyrilRamaphosa) March 9, 2021