Cyril Ramaphosa has ambitiously claimed that the ‘great recovery’ can be led by a host of local purchases, encouraging the general public to buy items that are manufactured on our shores. The president believes that a change in mindset – encouraging South African consumers to buy South African goods – can add a whopping R200 billion to the fiscus.
SONA 2021 took place amid a backdrop of Level 2 lockdown restrictions. It was an eerie affair, as Ramaphosa spoke from a near-empty National Assembly. The life had seemingly been sucked out of the event, but Cyril went his own way, and presented a State of the Nation Address that saw SA’s glass as half-full.
Ramaphosa, often accused of being a dreamer, shared his plans to reduce the country’s imports by 20% over the next five years. This fantasy may become a reality – if enough people get onside with the ‘buy local’ approach. The head of state aims to revive an ailing manufacturing industry, with a plan to make Mzani’s exports ‘globally competitive’ once more.
“The second priority intervention of the Recovery Plan is to support a massive increase in local production and to make South African exports globally competitive. This will encourage greater investment by the private sector. Key to this plan is a renewed commitment from the government, business, and organised labour to buy local.”
“This commitment should lead to increased local production, which will lead to the revival of our manufacturing industry. All social partners who participated in the development of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan as part of our social compact have agreed to work together to reduce our reliance on imports by 20% over the next five years.”
“If we achieve our target, we will significantly expand our productive economy, potentially returning more than R200 billion to the country’s annual output. These efforts are supported by robust manufacturing support programmes.”
WHAT ‘LOCAL PRODUCTS’ SHOULD SOUTH AFRICANS BUY?
Ramaphosa said there would be ‘dozens of items’ recommended for local purchase. However, he listed only seven of these products during his SONA speech. They include the following:
- – Edible oils.
- – Locally–produced furniture.
- – Fruit concentrates.
- – Personal protective equipment (PPE).
- – Steel products made in South Africa
- – ‘Green economy inputs’.
- – South African-made sugar
- – There is a total of 42 products – to be named fully in due course – that will be encouraged for ‘local purchases’.