Trade, industry and competition minister Ebrahim Patel has downplayed concerns that the government’s localisation policy will rile trade partners and derail Africa’s free trade agreement.

Patel said the policy was consistent with SA’s international trade obligations and is necessary to build the country’s industrial capacity. He suggested that it would help build partnerships with African producers. The government wants to reduce imports by at least 20% by among other things using its procurement activities to champion locally produced goods...

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