The outbreak of Covid-19 internationally should be a wake-up call on the impact of South Africa’s dependence on imported products, Madala & Associates CEO Dilley Naidoo said on March 27.
He urged that policies parallel to what was being implemented in the automotive sector should be prioritised in mining and many other industries as well to reduce South Africa’s economic vulnerability.
“By manufacturing locally right now, using what we have, we could effectively reduce the reliance on imports drastically,” said Naidoo, who is also a director of RSPH.
He said in a media release that overreliance on imports from countries hit by the coronavirus had left South Africa vulnerable and the downstream consequences of this could be devastating.
South Africa could, he said, use this situation to its benefit by taking steps to optimise local manufacture.
He urged the South African government to immediately prioritise and accelerate the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition’s job-creating automotive transformation and localisation policy, which aims to ensure that 60% of automotive parts are sourced and manufactured locally by 2035.
Parallel policies should be implemented in the mining, steel, rail, engineering and agroprocessing sectors to stimulate and expedite overall transformation and localisation.
Expanding and growing the supply-chain ecosystem was, he said, one of the globally proven ways of growing small and medium-sized businesses, with desperately needed guaranteed customer offtake.