There are a whole range of reasons why all South Africans should support proudly South African products but the main spin off of the Nedlac initiative is to create more jobs within our country’s borders.
The vast majority of South Africans want to make a positive difference in our infant democracy and buying products or services emblazoned with the Proudly South African logo is one simple way of making our economic clout count.
To be part of the Proudly South African campaign, manufacturers and service providers have to follow strict criteria that include
o All goods and services having a minimum of 50% local content, including labour
o All member companies embracing fair labour and employment practices
o All member companies imbuing sound environmental standards
These criteria form the building blocks for responsible and sustainable business practices that can only lead to an improved life for all South Africans and will most certainly enhance South Africa’s image abroad, particularly in the business sector.
It has been estimated that between five and twenty-two new jobs are created for each 1 million spent on locally produced products and when we take a quick look at unemployment statistics in SA and the impact it has on crime, then each and every one of us should make a concerted effort to buy Proudly South African.
The battle against unemployment
Whether the Proudly South African campaign had any impact on the latest unemployment statistics is unknown, although the positive newsflash is that unemployment levels sank to 23% in September 2007, a record low since the 2001 inception of the Labour Force Survey.
According to Statistics South Africa, a total of approximately 13.2 million people were employed, a net gain of over 430 000 jobs. The nation’s unprecedented growth has been tagged as the driving force behind job creation – in the past six years South Africa’s burgeoning economy has added over 2.1 million jobs and counting.
There is an indisputable link between unemployment, poverty and crime and if we are serious about making this dynamic and potentially great country one of the leaders in the global village, then these three disaster areas have to be curbed, and quickly.
South Africans have been held hostage by the electrifying crime wave that has engulfed the country for quite some time now and each and every one of us is aware of the damage it has caused to investor confidence. Quite simply, without substantial investment, South Africa is in danger of becoming just another average African state. The good news is that crime is on the decline, with a 6.4% drop overall.
In a nutshell then, the Proudly South African campaign is really a loyalty programme with the entire population of South Africa, all 48 million of us, as members. There is no doubt that if we continue to support South African goods and services, the lives of all South Africans will improve immeasurably.