The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has painted a grim picture of the South African economy, with the prediction that real GDP growth will slow sharply to 0.1% in 2023. This, after GDP contracted by 1.3% in the last quarter of 2022. But with consumer spending set to increase by 1.9% in 2023 and more South Africans opting to ‘buy local’, this could have a positive impact on the country’s economic growth.
“While the country’s current economic climate is not ideal, we are all part of the solution and need to do whatever we can to stimulate the economy,” says Laurian Venter, Sales Director at OneDayOnly.co.za, South Africa’s original daily deals website. “Now is the time for every retailer and e-tailer to highlight products that are made in South Africa by South Africans and to support small businesses as well. This, in turn, will help to create more jobs and sources of income, which will assist in fuelling local spending, benefitting all South African businesses and, consequently, all South Africans.”
The ripple effects of bolstering local businesses
“Companies can do this by making homegrown products more accessible and affordable for the local market, while also giving suppliers exposure to their client base,” she notes. “Businesses can also work closely with small-scale craftspeople and manufacturers to help them develop and refine their products, improve their business systems, and access marketing opportunities to generate sales.”
“Additionally, a focus on favouring local products and services can have positive knock-on effects for other industries. To illustrate, SA’s e-commerce space impacts couriers, packaging suppliers and marketing and media agencies. The more local products sold, the better it will be for these companies and their job creation potential,” adds Venter.
Unleashing the power of homegrown companies requires a combined effort
For its contribution to localisation, OneDayOnly.co.za was one of the companies that was recently awarded by President Cyril Ramaphosa at the launch of the Proudly South African Buy Local Summit. At the event, the e-tailer also made a pledge to the Minister of Trade and Industry, Ebrahim Patel, to continue its growth trajectory in order to provide more jobs and develop more skills and to collaborate with more local suppliers to improve the quality of their products and increase their share of digital shelf space. “We are a proudly South African company, created by South Africans for South Africans. We want to build a great company and, in turn, a great country,” she shares.
Venter concludes by saying that companies can’t drive localisation alone. “Government and businesses need to work together to ensure that there is increased investment in locally made products and the businesses behind them. Research by Proudly South African shows that even a 10% boost could potentially lead to a 13% growth in GDP, 8% more jobs, an 8.3% improvement in investment across the economy along with a 9% spike in tax revenues – all within the medium term. What this means is that small increases can end up having a big impact on the country’s economy.”