December 14, 2020

Proudly South African: Rely on Each Other and Buy Local

The COVID-19 pandemic, which caused untold damage to the South African economy, changing the business environment, has brought with it a new outlook and understanding that as South Africans, we must rely on each other.

Ultimately, this realisation must extend into our everyday activities and include supporting local business and buying locally produced goods, says Proudly South African.

When a consumer buys locally made goods and services and supports local business owners, they may not realise the full extent of the impact their actions are creating, says Proudly South African CEO, Eustace Mashimbye.

“Buying local triggers benefits that are particularly important at a time when many businesses and people are suffering the stresses caused by a frail economy. By deciding to buy local, and support small business where possible, people are taking a vital first step in creating a virtuous cycle of action that can help rebuild and bring prosperity to our society.”

The impacts of buying local are:

  • Small businesses are job creators. Increasingly important within the economy, local companies frequently hire people who live within the community or nearby. In many cases, this employment can be a step out of poverty not only for the employee but also by extension, their family. So, a single job can create hope and opportunities for many people and bring with it opportunities for self-improvement.
  • A significant portion of the earnings paid to local businesses for local goods is spent within the community as money is reinvested in wages, transport, goods and services.
  • Local businesses usually locate themselves near their primary markets. Usually, this means smaller shopping centres that are located near residential areas with easier customer accesssimpler parking, and less money is spent on travelling, which has an additional environmental benefit.
  • Local business owners often support other local businesses, buy raw materials and supplies from them and enlarge the circle of prosperity.
  • As COVID-19 persists and the importing of products is disrupted, keeping local money flowing through the economy could result in South African manufacturers stepping in to close the gap and create local alternatives.

“Recently, political and business leaders have stepped forward and urged that we change our attitude to buying locally produced goods,” says Mashimbye.

“The Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni, suggested that we begin manufacturing what we need and stop relying on imports.  The first step towards this is for South Africans to get behind their ‘home brand’(South Africa) and help by using buying power to encourage the expansion of local manufacturing and business.”        

“His call was echoed by Trade, Industry & Competition Minister, Ebrahim Patel, who has pointed out that South Africans buying locally made products will bring demand back into our economy helping it to grow.

“A long journey begins with the first step. For South Africa, the first step involves buying local products from local businesses. Once the journey is started, it will result in a revived economy, improved prospects for many and a country that can proudly take its place on the world economic stage,” says Mashimbye.