Proudly SA: Give economy a holiday boost by buying 'Made in SA' products
JOHANNESBURG – In our final column for the year, we want to appeal to South Africans to spend wisely this festive season.
We know that we are a nation of poor savers that lives on credit and so we want to caution everyone not to over-extend this December.
You know "Januworry" follows closely behind the holidays and back to work, back to school, and the long drag until pay day all come as a rude awakening after a few indulgent weeks.
According to a survey by Wonga, the short-term loan provider, South Africans will spend an additional R200 billion over the holidays, with 76 percent of us saying we will definitely be spending more than usual this month.
Of this, 37 percent will go to groceries and 20 percent to gifts.
The survey also shows, however, that many of us will be using savings made throughout the year, including stokvel payouts, bonuses and 13th cheques, to finance the additional expenditure.
We applaud this sensible approach.
But what we would encourage is that as much of this R200 billion as possible be spent on locally manufactured goods and services. The best gift we could give to over 6 million South Africans this Christmas is a job, and imagine how much demand we could drive up, by channelling our seasonal spend into "made in SA" items.
We are often met with the question – but where do we find Proudly South African or made in South Africa products? The answer is in many places; you just need to look, but here are some ideas:
www.rsamade.co.za is our dedicated online shopping store, selling only locally made products – both practical items and lovely gift ideas – and offering delivery to anywhere in the country. Edcon (Edgars, Jet and CNA) are all members of the Proudly SA campaign and offer over 60 percent of goods made right here at home.
Similarly, The Foschini Group, which includes Foschini, Markham, @Home, Sportscene and Sterns, among other brands, is also a Proudly SA member and carries a high percentage of locally made apparel.
Mr Price, as the latest recruit into the Proudly SA stable, also has great locally made products in its stores across the country. If fixing up the house and garden over the holidays is your thing, Cobra and Vaal bathroom and sanitary wear are Proudly SA, Lasher Tools for the garden carry our logo and CTM, Italtile and Top T are recent additions to our portfolio.
If you haven't booked your flights for the holidays yet, Mango and Comair are both member companies and have great route networks across the country and region. Tsogo Sun hotels offer great "staycation" rates for families when you get to your destination.
As for groceries – consumables as well as toiletries – Nestlé SA, Unilever and Maq are among our members in the FMCG space and Hulett has just become part of the buy local campaign, supporting jobs in the country, in line with our membership criteria.
In January, when thoughts turn to new school uniform, if your child needs generic grey shorts, trousers or skirts, and blue or white shirts along with jerseys and socks, Jet carries a wide range of locally manufactured uniform items. If, however, you have to go to a specialist outfitter, check labels for "Made in SA".
In fact, we did a straw poll of one outfitter in Pretoria and one leading school uniform retailer in Joburg.
They each supply 80 different schools and we were gratified to hear that they both profess to procure 100 percent locally manufactured school kit.
We have to start to believe that collectively we can make a positive impact on the economy and this can start with festive season spending. Simply check labels and look for the Proudly SA logo (it’s sometimes hidden on the back of a bottle or packet) or for anything that is made in South Africa. Buy someone a job this festive season and help them find their Sunshine Through the Rain that Idols SA winner Luyolo sings about. Buy local to create jobs.
We wish everyone a happy and safe festive season.
Eustace Mashimbye is chief executive of Proudly South African.
IF YOU have to go to a specialist outfitter to buy your child's school uniform, the writer says you should check to see whether clothes have ‘Made in SA’ labels. | David Ritchie African News Agency (ANA)