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Ramaphosa calls for South Africa to ‘buy local’ as government looks to restrict imports

| Economic factors

President Cyril Ramaphosa says that government will clamp down on the illegal importation of goods in South Africa and introduce additional incentives to support local buying in South Africa.

The president was speaking as part of a keynote address at the Proudly South African Summit and Expo 2021 on Tuesday (9 March).

Apart from its own procurement commitments, government is working to lower the barriers to entry to make it easier to establish and grow a business in South Africa, Ramaphosa said.

“To support existing manufacturers, we are enforcing measures to stop the illegal importation of goods, which weaken our local market.”

He added that the country will focus on reducing its dependence on imported goods. This will be done through the introduction of small business local procurement thresholds for the public sector, he said.

“Through legislation, government has designated 27 sectors for local procurement by the public sector,” Ramaphosa said.

“Proudly South African is playing an important role in monitoring compliance with these designations. It is clear that even in the public sector we still have some distance to travel to ensure effective compliance.

“Whether public or private, we need to appreciate that choosing to procure locally through and across value chains is a solid investment in our economic recovery.”

Master plans

Ramaphosa said that local procurement grows the economy, creates jobs, broadens markets and creates numerous opportunities for business expansion.

“This is the thinking that underpins the sectoral master plans that have been developed by government, business and labour.

He said the plans include significant investment commitments from both government and stakeholders to drive up productivity and employment.

  • The automotive master plan aims to double the amount of job opportunities by increasing the level of local content in vehicles assembled in this country from 39% to 60%;
  • The poultry master plan has contributed to the production of more than a million additional chickens each week that make their way onto shelves in South African retail stores;
  • In the sugar sector, government has secured the commitment of local manufacturers of soft drinks to procure 80% of their sugar needs from local growers, including small scale farmers;
  • The clothing, textile, footwear and leather sector has embraced the localisation drive, pledging half a billion rand to the expansion of local manufacturing sites.

“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,” said Ramaphosa.

“Wear local, travel local, eat local, watch local content, read local authors, support local music, and use local raw materials in your businesses. Proudly South African must move beyond being a campaign.”

Ramaphosa added that government, state-owned enterprises, businesses, and individuals should set the example.

“We have to save existing jobs, and stimulate the economy for new ones to be created. Businesses that were on the brink of collapse during Covid-19 have to be rebuilt, and new ones formed.

“It is for all of these reasons that localisation and local procurement is essential.”


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