13 October 2021
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) welcomes the National Treasury’s instruction to all government departments, entities, State-Owned Enterprises, and municipalities that they may only purchase locally produced cement. This is a demand the Federation has repeatedly made with the government and private industries.
This forms part of the core of the Economic Recovery and Reconstruction Plan and its commitments to ramping up local procurement. It will save and create thousands of badly needed local manufacturing jobs, and boost the local cement manufacturing sector, which has battled against a flood of cheap and subsidised imports from Asia.
Government is embarking on a mass infrastructure programme that will see more than R1.6 trillion invested in projects across the economy. Requiring locally produced cement to be used will enable the local cement manufacturing sector to grow. It will inject billions of Rands into the local economy, and this will help position the sector to export to the continent as well.
Government now needs to ensure this directive is implemented in full and any state institutions found wanting must be held accountable.
The government and businesses need to extend such interventions in the infrastructure programme to support locally produced steel, machinery, and protective wear. Similarly, such interventions should be replicated across all spheres of public procurement to support locally produced clothing, food, furniture, and vehicles. The private sector and banks need to embrace such local procurement initiatives.
Local manufacturers need to exploit such support from the government to enhance their competitiveness, upskill workers, invest in capacity, and address inefficiencies. Failure to do so will render well-intentioned interventions by the state meaningless.
Issued by COSATU
For further information please contact:
Matthew Parks- COSATU Parliamentary Coordinator
Cell: 082 785 0687- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org