The headline says it all! If products are manufactured locally, using local expertise, materials and labour where possible, not only is there the satisfaction of a job well done for the company, its employees and its customers, but the local economy is a winner too!
The South African flooring industry is no slouch in this respect, with world-class floorcoverings being manufactured and installed locally and overseas, ranging from the most luxurious carpets to the most humble garden paving.
The expertise and creative ability of South African architects, interior designers and building contractors is in high demand throughout Africa and in many countries outside the Continent. Each of these projects thus contains a high proportion of Made in South Africa of which we can all be proud.
To promote and sustain national fervour for local products and services, there are several organisations that endorse local manufacture, apart from the institutions and associations that train and encourage members to meet the highest possible standards of manufacture, installation, added-value and performance. Let’s take a quick look at those that are in the forefront of this concept, and for ease of contact we have put each under its own website address.
This website offers a central point for all South Africa manufacturers, South Africa services and South Africa industry to display their products for the international business-to-business and business-to-customer communities.
It provides overseas enquirers with brief details on trading with or in South Africa, including a list of businesses that they could be interested in.
Visit the website for information on how to have your company listed on this site.
There is also www.madeinsouthafrica.blogspot.com which is interesting even though it features mostly consumer goods, but this has no connection with the above initiative.
Proudly South African is the ‘buy local’ campaign launched in 2001 by government, organised business, organised labour and community organisations (the constituencies represented in the National Economic Development and Labour Council – Nedlac) to boost job creation and pride in local manufacture by promoting South African companies and their ‘homegrown’ products and services.
Proudly South African says that buying South African stimulates an increased demand for locally produced products and services. This translates into the safeguarding of existing employment opportunities, economic growth, and the creation of more quality employment opportunities in our country.
Also, in buying local products, both consumers and businesses are making a personal contribution to nation-building. Consumers get an assurance of quality because only quality products carry the Proudly South African mark, while members of the campaign are furthermore committed to an uplifting ethos and socially responsible business practices which are reflected in the membership criteria. In this manner the campaign represents and stimulates the creation of a virtuous circle which benefits all.
Membership is not restricted to a particular type of business or organisation. Any company or institution, whether it renders a professional service or is a manufacturing business, a public entity, sports body, school, tertiary institution, government department, municipality, NGO, town or city, or even an individual, may be eligible to join the campaign, provided that they support its overall aims and objectives and meet the membership criteria.
The qualifying criteria for Proudly SA membership are that at least 50% of the cost of production must be incurred in South Africa and there must be ‘substantial transformation’ of any imported materials; the product or service must be of a proven high quality; the company must comply with labour legislation and adhere to fair labour practices; must be environmentally responsible and adhere to production processes that are environmentally friendly and acceptable.
Based on voluntary association, Proudly South African clearly is much more than a marketing campaign – it is an internationally recognised competitiveness driver, an impetus for economic growth, employment creation, social change and greater overall prosperity.
In his welcoming address at the 2011 Proudly South African Awards, Leslie Sedibe, the recently appointed CEO of the organisation, said, “We applaud the winners for their great achievement and hard work. These are the companies that are role models to small and big companies as they are committed to the values of being Proudly South African – to buying local to create jobs, to fair labour practice, environmental responsibility and to delivering high quality standards of goods and services.”
“It is a real pity that some of South Africa’s leading corporations and listed companies are not members of Proudly South African, yet they often claim to be proud of being a South African company. I therefore use this opportunity to challenge each and every company in South Africa to become a Proudly South African member so that we can truly commit ourselves to working together as a nation to create jobs and eradicate poverty in our beautiful country.”
The South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) is a statutory body that was established in terms of the Standards Act, 1945 and continues to operate in terms of the latest edition of the Act as the national institution for the promotion and maintenance of standardisation and quality in connection with commodities and the rendering of services.
As the national standardisation authority, the SABS is responsible for maintaining South Africa’s database of more than 6 500 national standards, as well as developing new standards and revising, amending or withdrawing existing standards as required.
Internationally, SABS experts represent South Africa’s interests in the development of international standards, through their engagement with bodies such as the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). South Africa has a long and proud history of involvement with these bodies and was a founder member of ISO.
On a regional level, the SABS currently holds the Secretariat for SADCSTAN, the standardisation body for the Southern African Development Community of 14 nations.
SABS Commercial (Pty) Ltd, a self-financing division within the SABS, offers certification, testing, consignment inspection and other services, mostly to industry.
Apart from offering systems certification and product testing against the requirements of South African National Standards (SANS), SABS Commercial also operates its proprietary product certification scheme – the SABS Mark of Approval – a universally recognised icon in South Africa, assuring buyers that products are safe and fit for purpose. Manufacturers whose products bear the SABS Approved Mark offer a method of redress should any of their products not comply with specifications.
Historically, the SABS also undertook certain regulatory functions on behalf of South Africa. In keeping with best international practice, this regulatory function was separated from the organisation’s standardisation and certification activities, via the promulgation of the new Standards Act and the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications Act in September 2008.
Under these new laws, the former SABS Regulatory division separated to form the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS), a new organisation also residing under the Department of Trade and Industry.
SABS is committed to providing standardisation services that improve the competitiveness of South Africa through the understanding and development of standardisation products and services within South Africa and internationally.
With close attention being paid to the conservation of the environment, many products within the floorcovering industry have undergone changes to conform to the new regulations.
Reduction or elimination of Volatile Organic Compounds in the manufacture of flooring materials and adhesives; the conservation of energy and water in production processes; the recycling of production waste and old floorcoverings; and the inventive use of fibres made from plastic soft drink bottles are but some of the impacts being absorbed by the floorcovering industry.
At the forefront of environmental initiatives, the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) is an independent, non-profit, membership-based organisation that was formed in 2007 by leaders from all sectors of the commercial property industry.
It is a full member of the World Green Building Council and the official certification body of buildings under the Green Star SA Rating System, and it aims to ensure that all buildings are built and operated in an environmentally sustainable way so that all South Africans work and live in healthy, effective and productive environments.
The GBCSA has urged local industry, business and the government to work together to embrace greening the built environment to help mitigate the impact of climate change, and in this respect the green movement is spreading like wildfire – in the month of September 2011 alone the GBCSA certified three new green buildings in South Africa under the Green Star SA rating system.
This brings the total number of Green Star SA ratings in this country to nine, with two of these having achieved both Office Design and Office As Built ratings. The month of August also saw the awarding of the first-ever 5-Star rating in South Africa – a significant and exciting achievement.
We cannot leave the subject of Made in South Africa without blowing our own trumpet. FLOORS in Africa was started 29 years ago by the late Schalk Burger, and is still the only specialised magazine dedicated to flooring on the African Continent, having become an invaluable tool in the hands of the industry professionals.
To maintain its position as the mouthpiece of the flooring industry, the management and staff of the publication are in regular contact with the newsmakers and trendsetters both locally and internationally to keep its readership in touch with the latest flooring trends, developments and technology.
In addition, FLOORS in Africa is highly regarded as being knowledgeable, informative and newsworthy – offering a great launch pad for new concepts as well as providing a ‘first thought’ reference point and compulsive reading for those involved in the industry.