Consumers urged to buy local goods

Despite government’s efforts to encourage the buying of locally produced products, consumers seem to have shown less interest over the years.

CEO of Proudly South African says consumers need to buy locally produced products instead of giving preference to imported goods. Government, business and labour this week gathered at Ekurhuleni for the 3rd Buy Local Summit and Expo.

Government says it has made huge strides to promote and encourage the buying of locally produced goods. "Where government has been involved there has been an increase in procurement and we will instruct all public entities to take steps to move towards the target which we agreed with stakeholders of 75% of locally manufactured goods," says Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies

CEO of Proudly South African Lesile Sedibe says South Africans seem to be buying more imported goods. "Every time you buy a good, whatever business you support, you are effectively creating jobs for the country where that product was made. So our appeal to our people is that the more SA goods that you buy, the more you create jobs in SA," says Sedibe.

Every time you buy a good, whatever business you support, you are effectively creating jobs for the country where that product was made.

Some small businesses believe competition from China makes it harder for them to manufacture and sell their products. One business woman says consumers often prefer cheaper imported items rather than locally manufactured goods.

"We are exhibiting leather products that are made in South Africa. It’s very difficult to compete with China but we manufacture niche products that are specifically designed," says the local business woman.

Government says it will continue to encourage consumers to buy locally made goods. "We want the South African consumers to go out and look at the South African alternatives. But also in your business to take decisions to buy local inputs, as government we have decided already that certain products need to be purchased from local producers according to specific specifications. We have seen entities such as Transnet taking important decisions to procure locomotives and we have been urging the private sector to do the same," says Davies

The purpose of the annual Buy Local Summit is to promote dialogue amongst the constituencies of NEDLAC. Local procurement has been identified as a key driver for economic growth and job creation by government, business and labour unions.

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