Eustace Mashimbye, the chief executive of Proudly South African. Photo: Philippa Larkin.
Eustace Mashimbye, the chief executive of Proudly South African. Photo: Philippa Larkin.

It’s game time, Mzansi, says Proudly SA's Mashimbye

By Opinion Time of article published Jul 28, 2020

Share this article:

By Eustace Mashimbye

JOHANNESBURG - At the beginning of July, Proudly SA launched its new consumer education campaign, kicking off with a brand new tv commercial called ‘Game Time.’

We are eternally grateful to Dr John Kani for playing ball with us (to stay with the soccer metaphor) and agreeing to reprise his role as the conscience of the nation. He was the face and the voice of our first advert, which hasn’t been flighted publicly for some years, and he once again agreed to be part of this new project.

We are lucky to have him in South Africa during this lockdown period as he made it back into the country just before flights were suspended and borders closed.

In the new ad, Dr Kani plays the President, addressing the nation and appealing to everyone to play their part in rebuilding our economy and putting South Africans and South Africa back to work.

We have placed this ad across all tv channels - and we also have to thank the major broadcasters for their support in this regard, since we do not have the kind of budgets that would allow us the extensive flighting schedules they have offered us.

Now, we are reaching a mass audience across all demographics and we hope the commercial resonates with the entire nation, which right now we hope is receptive to hearing about the importance of buying local.

It is only by appealing to our collective conscience and by South Africans making conscious decisions to support their own that we can turn the tide of this economy, which, frankly, was already in trouble before Covid-19 came along.

Covid-19 has simply underlined its vulnerability and where its weaknesses lie.

Manufacturing is a key to rebooting the economy. If we stimulate demand in the industrial sector, we stimulate job creation.

Think furniture as just one example that has a massive value chain of different material inputs. Agro-processing is another, including the highly threatened poultry sector. We are being warned that a tsunami of imported chicken is coming our way when trade fully re opens, so we need to ramp up local production, buy only local and squeeze out any importers and make our market unattractive to their dumping.

This applies to all industries – clothing, textiles, car manufacturing, fast moving consumer goods, pharmaceuticals – we must drive demand for everything local and discourage buying imported goods.

Our tv commercial is called ‘Game Time’. We all know that South Africans unite around sport and so the analogy of a country taking stock during half time, re grouping, re evaluating the game plan going forward and emerging victorious is one that we believe we can all relate to, no matter what sporting code we watch. We cannot afford to come out for the second half – which has already started, although the critical period will be once the economy completely opens up - and play anything less than our best team game.

In keeping with the sporting theme, my song for this column is ‘Shibobo’ (Nutmeg) by TKZee feat. Benni McCarthy which was released ahead of the 1998 Soccer World Cup to galvanise support for South Africa which was one of the nations representing the African continent in the tournament. This is what our campaign aims to do – to get the nation to stand behind SA made products and see the economic spin offs. Buy local, South Africa and create jobs.

Eustace Mashimbye is the chief executive of Proudly SA.


Share this article: