The South Africa’s buy local advocacy organisation, Proudly South African, has launched its own online shopping site. Called the RSA Made (www.rsamade.co.za), the e-commerce portal was launched on August 21 in Johannesburg.
“Showcasing South Africa to the rest of the world, RSAMade is a Proudly SA e-commerce web site which gives South African products the opportunity to be placed in the hands of local and global consumers. Partnered with Proudly South African, these two successful initiatives promote the manufacture and consumption of locally made goods,” says Proudly South African.
Chairperson of the Proudly SA Board Howard Gabriel says the site can possibly attract new members. The RSA Made website provides an e-commerce platform for Proudly SA member companies to sell their goods and services. “Locally made products are of high quality. We are proud of the companies that produce these products and that the labour practices of these companies are good,” said Gabriel.
The CEO of Proudly SA, Eustace Mashimbye provided the context of why the RSA Made online shopping platform is important. He said the country’s triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality are the culprits.
“Our role is to stimulate demand for locally-made products,” he said.
Mashimbye explained that having a ‘Buy-Local’ campaign is not new to South Africa. The country is inspired by countries that have used such initiatives to revive their economies and create jobs.
“We are battling with imports as they contribute to unemployment in the country. It’s time to take our place in the world market as we are the gateway to Africa,” he mentioned.
A bulk of the products online will come from small businesses. Proudly SA CEO urged that Government must create an enabling environment so it is possible for small business to overcome challenges. While primarily serving South African citizens, Proudly South African also hopes there will be interest from international shoppers. The RSAMade site is set to rival the likes of Gumtree and Alibaba.com if it is a hit to the online shopping market.
“The products that are on offer will be exclusively produced by South Africans. We heeded the call of South Africans in general, who say to us, for convenience purposes and also to know which products out there are proudly South African, how do we get them and how do we then buy them online,” said the Chief Financial Officer Happy Ngidi.
Shoppers can browse and select their favourite local products and pay using the various method available (Visa/Mastercard or Bitcoin), delivery and shipment are handled by RSAMade on behalf of the vendor.