Proudly SA – Buy Local to Address Unemployment in SA

South Africa currently has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world, recorded at 32,9 % in the first quarter (Q1) of 2023 according to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS). The statistics are even worse if one focuses on young people: The youth unemployment rate, measuring job-seekers aged between 15 and 24 years old, rose to 62.1% in the same period.

The results of the survey also indicated that 179 000 jobs were lost between the fourth quarter of 2022 and the first quarter of 2023. The total number of persons unemployed was 7.9 million in Q1 2023.

Proudly South African is determined to be part of the solution and, through their new campaign, show ordinary people that the power is in their hands and that they are part of the solution to the worrisome unemployment rate and economic state.

The new campaign is an analogy of a sports match and is titled Second Half. Through this analogy, Proudly SA views the years leading up to the Covid-19 pandemic as the first half of the “game” of job creation and poverty alleviation, showcased in their previous consumer campaign known as theFirst Half narrated by South Africa’s legendary internationally acclaimed actor, Dr John Kani. As the title suggests, Second Half represents the time where the country needed to regroup, recover, revisit the game plan, rethink our loyalty to South African products and services as well as collectively push forward for a win in economic restoration for South Africa and its people. 

Every Rand spent on local products helps to rebuild the South African economy and contributes to retaining and creating jobs. Proudly South African’s message is clear: buying locally manufactured goods and services helps to create a demand for local jobs which has a direct impact on today’s youth and future generations. Many countries, such as China, are thriving because of the strength in localisation and export powers. This compels us as South Africans to be more intentional and robust about localising the goods that we consume or use.

Says Eustace Mashimbye, CEO of Proudly South African: “The current state of youth unemployment is alarming, and we have to act urgently to counteract the impact of job losses on the local economy. If we do not change the course of our country’s future through localisation, the consequences are likely to be dire. This is why it is crucial to restrategise and revise our own approaches to combatting this situation that affects us all. We must stop the culture of dependency and strive to be the protagonists in cultivating the change we want to see in our own lives. This is done, first and foremost, by having pride in our own goods and services, and stopping at nothing to see our country advance from the economic darkness that our current purchasing habits are leading us to.”

“Every South African has the power to change lives, create jobs, improve the country’s struggling economy, and make a dramatic impact simply by buying local. This, in turn, helps secure the jobs value chain.”

As part of its ongoing campaign, Proudly South African has also launched a Second Half television commercial (TVC) which puts the country’s future labour force in the spotlight. It aptly demonstrates the direct impact that consumers can have on the future of South Africa’s children if they buy and support homegrown products and services.

Second Half depicts eight labour intensive industries that are within government’s sectoral masterplans. These sectors are agro-processing, furniture, clothing – textile – footwear – leather (CTFL), steel & construction, manufacturing, aviation, automotive, and food & beverages. 

Continues Mashimbye: “We are stepping into a future that we can collectively be proud of because we individually would have contributed to. Through the Second Half, our goal is to emotively connect with consumers in a way that’s close to home – our children’s fate lies in our hands, and we must do something about it. Most importantly, we must do right by them! These sectors are everywhere around us, so we strongly encourage consumers to make the right purchasing decisions when they buy anything from consumables, furniture, and white goods, to using services providers that are vocal about using local supplies.”

“Our goal is to encourage buying local as this directly creates jobs and this in turn benefits our children who have big dreams to make their own impact one day. We cannot emphasise the power of buying local enough. We can only address youth unemployment by thinking about our buying decisions. If we support locally manufactured goods, we are building our nation and the economy. A strong economy lies in the hands of our children – the youth – and it is incumbent on us to pave the way for them through localisation,” concluded Mashimbye.

The answer to changing the fate of South African’s unemployment rate is unequivocal. All citizens of our beloved country must make a conscious decision to buy locally made products or use local services. Our future, and that of our children, depends on our choices today.