Here's how to retain existing jobs with proudly SA products

Chepa Streetwear (Pty) Ltd, a clothing and footwear design and manufacturing business.
Chepa Streetwear (Pty) Ltd, a clothing and footwear design and manufacturing business.
Image: Supplied.

Buying locally manufactured products helps to sustain and create jobs for South African citizens.

This is according to the chief executive officer of Proudly South African, Eustace Mashimbye.

Proudly SA is the country’s official buy local advocacy campaign and has a mandate to drive the buy local message.

Its largest funder is the Department of Trade and Industry and this partially makes it an agency of the department. It has been around since 2001. 

Mashimbye said sending money back to the economy and retaining existing jobs is effectively what a buy local choice means.

Mashimbe said South African products and services stand up to scrutiny against many imported goods. 

“If any company wants to build a loyal customer base, it knows that it has to provide value for money, and that is for consumers to decide,” Mashimbye said.

All Proudly SA member companies’ products are audited for quality.

He said the best support that Proudly SA gives member companies is access to markets.

“Without access to market, a business cannot thrive, even if it has the best products, so this is what we see as our most critical role,” he said.

One of the local companies that is listed on the database is Chepa Streetwear (Pty) Ltd, a clothing and footwear design and manufacturing business that is the brainchild of Dumisani Mahlangu (34) and his wife Candice.

“We wanted clothing that is African and modern because we always loved African prints and there were many requests for bomber jackets from our potential clients,” he explained.

The company has already managed to create eight direct and indirect jobs and currently distributes products using an online platform nationwide. Some of its products end up abroad, thanks to an international distributor.

Mahlangu is happy with the company’s local support but urges people not to ask for discounts because that kills local businesses, especially those that are starting up.

-This article was originally published in the GCIS Vuk'uzenzele.

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