Posted: March 9, 2021
Good morning fellow South Africans
Proudly SA Chairperson, Mr Howard Gabriels,
Proudly SA Board Members
Proudly SA CEO, Mr Eustace Mashimbye and executive team
Representatives of business, organised labour and civil society,
Distinguished guests, participants and partners,
Ladies and Gentlemen
President Ramaphosa will today be giving the keynote address on this 20th anniversary of the launch of the Proudly South African campaign.
His Administration has placed industrial renewal at the heart of efforts to boost economic growth, create jobs and transform the economy.
I want to recall that in the first State of the Nation Address of this Administration in June 2019, President Ramaphosa said
“We will stimulate local demand and grow South African manufacturing by making sure the ‘Buy Local’ campaign is everywhere and ever-present.”
The President then outlined in the SONA speech, what he termed a ‘reimagined industrial strategy’ that would underpin the efforts to localise. Over the past 20 months since that speech, in the midst of a global pandemic, government has been putting an integrated approach together to drive that strategy, implementing it and harvesting early fruits.
Buy local efforts typically have to address more than simply an appeal to patriotism.
Consumers look at price and product innovation or quality; investors look to the size of a market and whether it justifies the investment and consumers look to local availability on the shelves and the marketing thereof.
The integrated approach seeks to address these complementary elements of the buy local campaign.
To improve local product competitiveness, we have launched a series of industry master plans to strengthen the supply-side of industry.
To address the need for larger markets, the President launched the start of trading under the African Continental Free Trade Area, to enable scale efficiencies to kick in.
To address availability of locally-produced products, we now have a number of commitments form the business community and retailers to partner with us on the localisation campaign. One major company, Coca-Cola will make R240 million available over the next three years, to drive the campaign, as part of its competition commitments. This will help us monitor implementation gaps and to identify new opportunities, including products where we can scale up.
Mr President and colleagues, South Africa is not unusual in the focus on local production. Many developing countries have run campaigns and used a range of measures, to appeal to local consumers to buy goods made in their communities. Many Governments buy their core products from local producers.
Two successive US administrations, Republican and Democrats, have championed the Buy America campaign, most recently, that of President Biden.
In April last year, the President of the European Council welcomed Europe’s Joint Roadmap for Recovery from the pandemic and spoke of the need for the EU to increase its strategic autonomy and produce essential goods in Europe.
South Africa recognised during the pandemic that our reliance on global suppliers came with enormous challenges and difficulties for our country. We used it to scale up the production of medical-grade face masks, from a capacity to produce 6 million a month in March last year; to almost 16 million in March this year.
We produced 20 000 CPAP ventilators, following a partnership by government and industry to design, test, produce and use these machines. Clinicians have advised us these machines have saved lives.
What these point to is the recognition that even in the age of globalisation, nation states and regions have responsibilities to promote local industrial innovation and capacity.
We have reached an agreement now in Nedlac to work together to make locally many products we now import. Our non-oil import bill in 2019 was R1,1 trillion. We are setting ourselves the target over a five year period, to reduce that by 20%. That would entail bringing R200 billion back into local production, adding up to 4% to our GDP, and creating many, many more jobs for young South Africans.
Mr President, in your speech in June 2019, you also said
“Let us all buy locally-made goods to drive up demand in our economy.”
The Proudly SA campaign, whose origins are in a resolution by the SA Clothing and Textile Workers Union in 1999, is a critical vehicle to drive that call. It has been energised by your leadership of the buy local campaign. Wearing a local suit. Eating local fruit. Promoting local music and film. This campaign has at its core an idea one whose time has come.
It is my pleasure to introduce our keynote speaker, His Excellency, President Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa and to invite him to address this Summit.
Sidwell Medupe-Departmental Spokesperson
Tel: (012) 394 1650
Mobile: 079 492 1774
Issued by: The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic)
Follow us on Twitter: @the_dti