Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - With the start of the election campaign season, several political parties have promised they will encourage their constituencies to support locally-manufactured products.

Political parties attended a panel discussion hosted by Proudly South African (PSA) 2019 Election Local Procurement Forum at the Cape Sun hotel recently.

PSA was established in 2001 out of the 1998 Presidential Job Summit which was convened by former president Nelson Mandela.

PSA chief executive Eustace Mashimbye said the purpose of the organisation was to combat the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and, in particular, unemployment.

Mashimbye said, “buying local products is a tried and tested phenomenon all over the world”.

“Since 1996 manufacturing GDP has declined from 1600 to 900 in 2016, while Chinese imports increased by 73%. We need to come up with policies that will support the small and medium enterprises (SMEs),” said Mashimbye.

Speaker after speaker emphasised the need to grow the economy in order to create sustainable jobs to combat unemployment.

Sipho Vanga of the Azanian People’s Organisation said the country needed to have a leadership that would inspire confidence in them and emphasised the importance of investing in the local economy.

“We need a government that has vision about growing the economy.

“If there is no political will from all the parties, no change will happen in this country. In order for the country to grow you need good governance, and a government that will inspire people to invest in their country.

“We need a government that will see the importance of creating new industries,” said Vanga.

DA spokesperson for trade and industry Dean Macpherson, said industrialisation policies were needed to grow the economy.

“An economy that will generate investment in the country for sustainable jobs especially for the youth,” he said.

UDM leader in the Western Cape Mphuthumi Ntabeni, said any foreign company that wanted to set up a business in the country had to build partnerships with local business people.

ANC provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs, said was always ANC policy to support local products.

“We need to do our level best and encourage South Africans to support local products to ensure we keep our jobs,” said Jacobs.

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