JOHANNESBURG - The biggest event on Proudly South African's calendar, the annual Proudly South African Buy Local Summit & Expo will take place on the 14th and 15th of March 2018 at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg.

Extending over two days for the second year running, the Proudly SA Buy Local Summit & Expo has grown into its 7th edition in 2018 from a standard conference and modest-sized exhibition of local bushiness into an important local procurement forum diarised by corporate supply chain decision makers, policy makers, entrepreneurs, SMME's and government officials.

Proudly SA's Buy Local Summit & Expo is a platform for talking as well as listening, with two days of presentations, panel discussions and workshops aimed at creating awareness of the importance local procurement has in the growth of the country's economy.

Day one of the event is the SMME Workshop, a free-to-attend information packed day dedicated to empowering entrepreneurs and small business owners through a series of talks from industry experts.

The workshop will also give these companies access to organisations and institutions which regulate, legislate and register the SMME sector and whose red tape can be complex to navigate. Included in this "One Stop Shop" area are The DTI, the South African Revenue Service (SARS), the National Empowerment Fund, the Industrial Development Corporation, CIPC , and UIF amongst others.

"We received amazing feedback from delegates, exhibitors and speakers alike following our decision to extend the Summit into a two-day format last year, and so we have repeated that successful formula in 2018. This year, we plan to grow the event even further to make this the most unforgettable, informative and education Summit yet," says Proudly SA's CEO, Eustace Mashimbye.

With the theme "Local Procurement: Policy or Preference?" - Day Two of the event is the main Conference and Expo. Also a free-to-attend event, the day can be divided into the Conference only, a visit to the Expo only, or both. Speaker sessions include addresses from leaders of local industry whose companies have taken policy decisions to change their business models in favour of increased local procurement.

The final session of the day will be a political round table mediated by Redi Tlhabi where Buy Local will unpack the manifestos in relation to local procurement issues of the leading parties ahead of the 2019 elections and seek to elicit a promise that they each procure their election T-shirts etc from local suppliers.

The Proudly South African member Expo runs concurrently with the Summit and is a place to find new local buyers and suppliers from the 200 stands which represent the best of South African businesses, goods and services.

Register for the summit HERE or alternatively visit

WATCH: Happy Makhumalo Ngidi, Head of PR, Marketing and Communications at Proudly South Africa talk the objectives of the summit