South African consumers are “spoilt for choice” and need to be convinced to buy local products, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said on Monday.
“Our people as consumers are spoilt for choice. This motivates us to be more competitive,” Motlanthe said at the Proudly South African Buy Local Summit in Ekurhuleni.
He said local businesses should also do their part by making their products more appealing to South African consumers.
“We live in a global village where goods and services no longer recognise foreign borders.”
Motlanthe commended Proudly South African for encouraging demand for local products and warned that government efforts to limit efforts might result in a trade war.
“Protectionism of any guise is frowned upon and can elicit destructive reactions from other countries.”
Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies agreed that because of globalism, few products were created solely in one country, but disagreed that public policy could not be used to encourage local procurement.
“There are also parts of products that we could well supply in South Africa,” he said.
Davies said manufacturing had taken a blow from the recession in 2008, but had been in a slow decline before that.
He said the government had created guidelines for government departments and parastatals to procure a certain percentage of their stock locally. - Sapa