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SA: Cyril Ramaphosa, Address by SA President, during the Proudly SA Buy Local Summit and Expo (15/03/22)

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SA: Cyril Ramaphosa, Address by SA President, during the Proudly SA Buy Local Summit and Expo (15/03/22)

Image of President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

15th March 2022

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Programme Director,
Honoured Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen, 

It is my pleasure to address this Summit at a time when the Buy Local message is more important than ever.

The economic damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has placed even greater demands on our economy to provide employment and livelihood opportunities.

The pandemic has both exposed the fragility of global supply chains and revealed the great capacity we have here in South Africa for innovation and adaptation in manufacturing.

In the space of just two years, through collaboration and out of necessity, we managed to build local production capability in ventilators, hand sanitisers, medical-grade face masks and gloves, vaccines and therapeutic drugs and anaesthetics.

Not only did we produce these goods to meet local needs, but also to meet the needs of other countries on the continent.

Local production is important because it encourages national pride in the goods, services and products made on our home soil.

It supports the growth of small businesses and the expansion of larger firms.

It creates employment and sustains livelihoods. 

Local production supports our manufacturing sector.

It enables us to build much-needed infrastructure and improve our services.

As our country’s official localisation campaign, Proudly SA continues to fly our flag here and abroad. 

We all feel a great sense of pride seeing the Made in South Africa label on products in other countries. It is even more encouraging to see them on shelves and in factories here at home.

Besides the vast array of products on supermarket shelves that are locally produced, South Africa is a producer of goods and services in agriculture and agro-processing, clothing, textiles, automotive, furniture, medical equipment and pharmaceuticals, to name but a few.

A growing local market enables producers to expand and to start exploring export opportunities in other markets.

We manufacture many of the vehicles that are exported to the rest of the world. 

The BMW X3, just like the Ford Ranger and the Mercedes Benz C-Class, is manufactured and assembled here in South Africa. 

The employment value chain in this sector is enormous – from the factory to dealerships, components and spare parts manufacturing, after sales service, mechanics and sales personnel.

The output of our creative industries is extensive.

Day by day, our artists are gaining new audiences around the world. 

We see for example the runaway success of amapiano, and how it is part of the music scene in many parts of the world. 

More and more locally produced films are being seen on screens across the globe and on the world’s largest streaming platforms.

Whether it’s in music, literature, art or fashion, South Africans are setting trends, locally and beyond our borders.

Our message at this annual Summit and Expo is that whether we are individuals or businesses, we can and should all choose to buy local.

By buying locally-produced goods we are supporting livelihoods, small business development and job creation.

We are supporting investment in research, new technology and innovation.

As long as we are producing quality local goods, we should also be buying them. 

We have a number of aims for this Summit.

Firstly, to assist government departments and agencies to use procurement legislation and procedures to drive demand for local goods.

Secondly, to encourage corporate South Africa to expand its use of locally-made goods and services.

Thirdly, to educate consumers on labels of origin and on their role in contributing to job creation by making ‘Buy Local’ choices. 

This year’s programme is versatile, dynamic and informative, with sessions on technical innovation, on the benefits of Special Economic Zones and workshops for entrepreneurs on intellectual property and other issues.

In the State of the Nation Address in February I made a point of mentioning that my suit and shoes were made by local producers. 

I did so to draw attention to the quality of local goods and to the capability of local manufacturers, but also to encourage all South Africans to support the Proudly SA campaign.

It is not enough, however, to encourage people to buy locally.

We need to work together to create an environment that supports local companies.

That is why we have partnered with stakeholders in various industries to develop sector master plans that have already increased investment and production in several industries.

To create an environment more conducive to local production, we are reducing red tape and removing the barriers to entry for emerging companies.

We are undertaking far-reaching reforms in energy, telecommunications and in our ports and railways to improve the competitiveness of our products.

We all need to make a contribution to this effort – from government and state-owned companies, to business and labour, to producers and consumers – because we all benefit from this effort.

This Summit and Expo is a valuable opportunity to create greater awareness and appreciation about the benefits and transformative power of buying local.

I wish the Summit and Expo every success, for the good of the participants and the good of the country.

I thank you.

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