President Cyril Ramaphosa has said that much needed to be done to support businesses that suffered as a result of COVID-19 and the subsequent job losses.

Ramaphosa was addressing the 9th annual Proudly South African Buy Local Summit & Expo on Tuesday, March 9, 2021.

“We have to save existing jobs and stimulate the economy for new ones to be created,” he said.

All this comes on the same day that Statistics South Africa announced that the country’s economy contracted by 7%.

Ramaphosa encourages South Africans to buy locally

President Cyril Ramaphosa further emphasised the need to support the local industry by helping businesses here on home soil become more sustainable.

“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. As government, as State-owned enterprises, as businesses, as individuals and as leaders, we need to set an example,” he said.

It is in the same respect that he praised Proudly SA and said its work has taken on even greater significance.

“Given the global economic climate, we can anticipate decreased demand for our goods, products and services, even from our traditional export markets,” he said.

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

Ramaphosa also added that government is working to identify localisation champions to help drive import replacement programmes across various industries and for specific projects.

“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. Proudly South African is playing an important role in monitoring compliance with these designations,” he said.

“It is clear that even in the public sector, we still have some distance to travel to ensure effective compliance.”

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

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Presh JM Reporter

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