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31 October 2012 | Anna Reynolds
The SA Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry is working with businesses and public sector bodies to help small firms break into the ‘supply loop’ and become vendors to bigger companies.
It has committed to driving the Proudly South African ‘buy local' campaign, which was launched in 2011 by government, businesses and community organisations to create jobs and boost industry, by signing the Local Procurement Accord.
Speaking at the Proudly South African local procurement conference in Cape Town on Monday, executive director of the Cape Chamber of Commerce Viola Manuel said: “We have seen solid strides from some retailers when it comes to sourcing produce locally and are working with them to help local suppliers reach compliance and come on stream with our larger retailers.”
The chamber is currently working on a plan to help smaller businesses by speaking to banks about possible funding for them. “We have also had solid engagements with the University of the Western Cape to assist us and close the loop between business and academia,” added Manuel.
The Local Procurement Accord is gaining support from other key stakeholders including the Western Cape Government and the Congress of South African Trade Unions, who have signed the agreement to promote South African companies.
The conference outlined the obligations of the accord to business and government procurement managers, who will buy products and services that carry the Proudly South African mark, while committing to socially responsible business practices.
To qualify for Proudly SA membership, companies and manufacturers must comply with labour legislation and at least 50 per cent of the cost of production must be incurred in South Africa.