Buy Local Summit showcases proudly made in SA

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Trade Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel has called for concerted efforts between government, locals and the private sector to promote and support locally produced goods.

He delivered a keynote address at the 12th Buy Local Summit and Expo at the Sandton Convention Centre.

Patel stressed the importance of an all-inclusive approach to creating jobs and growing the economy.

The two-day summit will also see a match making platform between entrepreneurs with over 200 exhibitors showcasing their locally produced products.

Showcasing the capabilities of South African products, the 2024 Summit has opened its doors to about 2000 delegates including buyers and exhibitors at Sandton in Johannesburg.

“The exhibition hall has become a meeting place. We’ve set up meetings ahead of time where we are matching the exhibitors with buyers from retail, with buyers from the corporate world who we have engaged ahead of time and said this are the companies that are going to showcase their products. Infact, some of them even told us who they would like to see or the kind of products they we would like to see so we’ve found those and we’ve given them space downstairs. Hundreds of meetings have been arranged,” says Proudly SA CEO Eustance Mashimbye.

Patel delivered a keynote address emphasizing the importance of collaboration and supporting locally produced goods.

“One of the highlights of today’s exhibition and summit is the pledges that will be made where local companies will make commitments to buy local. I am told this year, there will be 17 pledges and it will be a very significant example of the partnerships we have. There’s much to celebrate about local production, I can point to last week, I launched a new solar fridge and freezer that is made in Ladysmith in KwaZulu-Natal,” says Patel.

Video: 12th Buy Local Summit – Buying local will help the economy: Minister Ebrahim Patel

The Minister officially opened the exhibitor’s hub where he interacted with entrepreneurs from various sectors of the economy on their products on offer.

“More often than not we design in isolation and spaces like this brings exposure to small companies like ourselves, so I am grateful that everyone can come here and see what we are all about and maybe it’s also opportunities for collaborations because under this burner itself there are multiple creative people. I want to be a role model, I have little brothers and want to show them that you don’t have to wait for opportunities to come to you, you can create your own opportunities,” says Tlhologelo Sesana, Co-Owner Sesana Sesana Studios.

The day also saw a panel discussion amongst small and big business, joined by government and labour, seeking to promote inclusive collaboration for the creation of jobs.

“What is important for us as organised labour and this is the programme that we’ve been driving at Nedlac particularly looking in the clothing and textile sector. And through the master plans to ensure that even what government is consuming in their own department be it the furniture they are procuring and any other thing that they are using including uniform that is worn by public servants must be procured here and manufactured here at home,” says Zingiswa Losi, Cosatu President.

The event will also encourage partnerships through match making bids amongst exhibitors. President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to attend a dinner hosted at the event on the last day of the summit.

Calls have been made for the building of long-term partnerships and fresh commitments on investments in locally produced items, consumers have also been urged to be intentional in buying and supporting locally manufactured products in a bid to boost the economy and help create jobs.

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