The recent balance of trade statistics from the Department of Revenue shows a surplus of R22.24 billion for September 2021, attributable to an excess of R157.07 billion in exports. This suggests an international appetite for local goods and services1.
However, statistics from the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) reveal that at 25.1% of GDP, South Africans have “an over-propensity to import goods” compared to similarly developed countries2.
International companies gracing our shores
Indeed, our misconception that locally produced products are somehow inferior to imports is hurting our economy. You may wonder why so many multinational companies set up shop on our shores? Take for instance major vehicle manufacturers such as BMW, Mercedes Benz, Toyota and Volkswagen. They all boast world-class production facilities in Mzanzi.
Over 1900 call centres including giants Amazon and Google and renowned white goods manufacturers General Electric and Whirlpool capitalise on South Africa’s low labour costs, excellent infrastructure, and convenient geographic positioning. Several leading FMCG companies and retailers such as Unilever, Nandos and Spar have also taken the world by storm.
The perception continues
It is argued that quality may be the reason why, and a bias to export raw materials over finished manufactured goods.
The government’s localisation drive recognises the need to build industrial capacity to stimulate demand for South African products & services, both internally and abroad, thus creating job opportunities.
All companies trading must operate to strict international standards. Their successful “beneficiation” of production inputs – whether raw materials, trained technicians, skilled labour or technologically advanced production processes – demonstrates the country’s capacity to produce finished goods that are up to standard.
Local vinyl flooring manufacturer
FloorworX, based in East London, is the only local vinyl flooring manufacturer in South Africa. The company has been supplying vinyl composite tiles (VCT) and sheeting to hospitals, clinics and education facilities for more than seven decades.
Ranges, including Superflex and Floorflex, are all manufactured to ISO9001 quality management standards with SABS786 and SABS581 certification respectively. They use only the highest quality raw materials, including locally sourced limestone instead of chalk fillers for adjustable flexibility and strength. Superior pigments and stabilisers are used to produce a directional pattern with bright vibrant colouring. The guaranteed stock availability ensures stable pricing and project scheduling and added cost benefit when value-engineering is common.
FloorworX has an outstanding reputation for its performance, consistency, and quality that has been earned by understanding every requirement and overcoming project-specific problems, coupled with fit-for-purpose production.
The benefits of buying local are obvious and include, but are not limited to:
- Technical expertise
- Customised production
- Cost control
- Quality guarantees
- After-sales service and traceability
- Job creation and economic growth
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