South Africans have been encouraged to buy local products this festive season as this could contribute to improving the country’s economy.
“People who loosen their purse strings during the upcoming holiday season and buy local instead of imported products could help improve South Africa’s economic outlook by making a dent in the R1.1 trillion per annum presently spent on imports,” Proudly South African said on Tuesday.
In addition, consumers will be contributing to developing a stronger job market and rebuilding South African businesses.
“Although 2020 has been tough and the COVID-19-induced economic malaise which contributed to a 48.9% drop in household spending, the festive season’s direct spending could help the hotel, restaurant, and recreational sector, where income plunged by 99.9%. It is here that spending could immediately help the sector regain some of its lost ground,” Proudly South African Chief Executive Officer Eustace Mashimbye said.
He said if South Africans buy locally manufactured goods, this could add two percent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“The lack of demand for South African goods, and our reliance on imported instead of locally manufactured items are dragging down local manufacturing.
“Purchasing locally-made clothing instead of items made in Asian countries would help the local textile and clothing industries, in which about six people a day lose their jobs,” Mashimbye said.
Traditionally, South Africans spend most between November and January and retail sales spike.
Consumers are urged to examine the ‘made-in’ labels on the goods for sale and opted for locally manufactured and produced goods.
During the COVID-19 crisis, the focus on buying local increased as ports of entry were closed and the movement of goods and services was restricted.
“This had the effect of introducing local buyers to the high-quality local options available at retail outlets. We need to emphasise that our economy and people need this buying trend to continue. If we can make the return to local goods permanent, we will benefit.
“There is no time like the present. As our ‘game time’ campaign emphasises, the time for buying local is more important than ever. We are in the second half of the game; we need action if we are to win and build a strong future. We need committed, proud South Africans to take action through their purses and wallets,” Mashimbye said.