Picture: 123RF/ VADIMALEKCANDR
Picture: 123RF/ VADIMALEKCANDR

SA’s localisation policy is under constant attack from protrade lobbyists and foreign governments eager to stop competitors from manufacturing in SA. Their central argument is that we cannot manufacture locally given the lack of machinery, technology and skills.

Many forget that a number of countries that do manufacture successfully are no more educated than we are. Newer and better machinery than competitor economies use can be bought freely by new investors, and skills can be taught.

Given the Fukushima disaster in Japan and the current shortages of goods worldwide due to Covid-19, with Opec-generated global inflation, it is suicidal for manufacturers abroad not to diversify part of their manufacturing.

SA could begin a worldwide “diversify 30% of production” campaign to safeguard against the geographic risks international manufacturers face, now and in the future.

Trade, industry & competition minister Ebrahim Patel has the right idea. Let us stand up to all pro-foreign manufacturing lobbyists. We need the jobs and taxes, and the multiplier effect local investment in manufacturing will bring. We are with you, Patel.

Hitesh Naran
Johannesburg

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