Appearing soon on SA’s finest
21 May 2002
Appearing soon on a range of South African-made products – the Proudly South African logo, promising the consumer high quality with substantial South African content, from companies who maintain fair labour practices and sound environmental standards. Are you buying it?
Proudly South African, launched in 2001 as a campaign to promote South African companies, products and services “which are helping to create jobs and economic growth in our country”, and now its own Section 21 company, has launched its latest advertising blitz, “Appearing Soon on SA's Finest".
In magazines and newspapers and on outdoor billboards across the country, South African-made products – fruit, jeans, leather goods, beer, food – bear the Proudly South African logo, the key to the campaign, which the company describes as “a double-edged tool, delivering results to both employers and employees”.
And, of course, to the buyer. Patriotism pays, everybody wins. How,
For the company that becomes a member, according to Proudly South African, the campaign translates into increased demand for that company’s product or service - by creating a brand and logo called Proudly South African and enabling member companies to use this to differentiate what they're selling.
Will this work? If the Australian model is anything to go buy, it will and more. Australia Made, conceived about a decade ago and relaunched two years back, recently commissioned a study which found that eight out of every 10 Australians seek out Australian-made goods on their shop shelves.
And a survey conducted at the beginning of last year indicated that 92% of South Africans are ready to support a South African-branded products or services, with 77% already seeking out locally made products.
South African companies were impressed – not least by Proudly South African’s promise: “Your marketing budget just grew
by R30 million”. Six months into its marketing campaign, almost 160 companies and organisations have already signed on, including heavyweights like Old Mutual, M-Net, Pick 'n Pay and South African Airways.
How does this help company employees, or the people who buy their products and services? The answer is simple: in order to wear the Proudly South African colours, a company has to meet the following criteria:
- The company's products or services must incur at least 50% of their production costs, including labour, in South Africa, and be "substantially transformed" (in other words, a product that is merely imported and re-packaged would not be eligible).
- The company and its products or services must meet high quality standards.
- The company must be committed to fair labour and employment practices.
- The company must be committed to sound environmental standards.
By getting its members to commit to local content and fair labour practices, and
by increasing demand for their goods and services, Proudly South African helps ensure that existing jobs are kept and new jobs are created.
For the consumer, the Proudly South African logo is a sign both of quality and social responsibility. The chairman of the campaign, well-known broadcaster, journalist and media personality Tim Modise, argues that Proudly South African gives every South African a chance to be "a nation builder".
“As South Africans, we often forget how innovative, entrepreneurial and competitive we can be", Modise says. "We need to find a new sense of pride in who we are and what we can achieve. With the Proudly South African campaign, companies can identify themselves as such for everyone to see."
Proudly South African’s chief executive, former ad agency chairman Martin Feinstein, points out that there is a difference between "Made in South Africa" and "Proudly South African", as only the latter can assure a consumer that the product he or she
buys is of good quality and was made using fair labour practices.
Martin adds that the campaign is encouraging the public and the private sectors to give tender preference to Proudly South African member companies. "We want to create a culture where buyers in state departments, provinces, local authorities and in the private sector understand the implications of their buying decisions on local job creation."
This year, the department of education became the first government department to commit to giving preference to Proudly South African members when awarding tenders.
Large corporations also have a responsibility to buy local, says Feinstein. “We believe South African companies of all sizes should be sourcing their raw materials and supplies from other South African companies, provided that they are getting value for money.
“We believe buyers should have a 'local content comes first' attitude. This, simply, is the best way to build the economic powerhouse
that South Africans already know their country is more than capable of becoming.”
Proudly South African is a not-for-profit initiative of the National Economic, Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) and is supported by organised business, labour, government and community organisations.
The campaign is not just for businesses and companies. Membership is open to a wide range of organisations who want to support South African companies and products. NGOs, sports organizations, education and health institutions, government departments, publications, even individuals - all can join the campaign as members.
SouthAfrica.info reporter/ Proudly South African