The Chief Director of Economic Research and Policy Coordination at the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), Mr Nkosiyomzi Madula says South Africans should take responsibility to grow the economy through buying locally produced products. He was speaking at the Economic Policy Dialogue on the role of business in local procurement. The session which was attended by business, labour, academics and government, was held in Midrand today.
According to Madula, business, labour, society at large and government should work together to leverage local procurement to grow the South African economy. Local procurement will boost SA’s domestic demand given that the global demand is low and the global economy is not growing as much as it should.
“The local procurement accord was a good lever in terms of what we can do. There is more that can still be done such as creating small, micro and medium enterprises (SMMEs) by procuring what they produce so that they can thrive,” said Madula.
He added that government through the designation of sectors and products for local procurement had begun to revive certain industries like the bus, locomotive and clothing and textiles, and that this was the first step which required collaboration with business.
The Executive Director for Manufacturing Circle, Ms Philippa Rodseth, said for South Africa’s current stage of development, manufacturing’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) should double current statistics.
“We need to increase demand in order to increase the multiplier effect and maximise decision making,” she added.
Rodseth said the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Codes of Good Practice had been very effective in terms of suppliers and service providers. She added that the Manufacturing Circle was working together with the dti to create 100 black industrialists as they believed the Black Industrialists Programme presented many opportunities for new entrants.
Speaking at the same session, the Western Cape Regional Secretary of Cosatu, Mr Tony Ehrenreich congratulated government and its social partners for being committed to the procurement accord.
“We need monitoring and evaluation to be emphasised and to build relationships with Proudly South African to ensure that the priorities are aligned. We want government to make it prescriptive that the funds they give to business benefit the South African society,” he added.
Ehrenreich highlighted the importance of the promotion of a campaign to buy local and ensure that there is capacity to produce those products so they are on the shelves.
Distributed by APO on behalf of The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa.