Nichelle Steyn spoke to Errol Naidoo about his recent call to South Africans to contribute to South Africa’s economic revival by “buying SA”.
Errol Naidoo, chief executive officer of the Family Policy Institute (FPI) is concerned about the viability of the local economy, especially family-owned and run small businesses. Subsequently, FPI recently launched the Revive SA-Buy SA campaign to help revive the South African economy.
According to Naidoo, thousands of small and medium-sized businesses have suffered catastrophic losses and many were forced to shut down. This will inevitably lead to many more citizens who will lose their jobs as a direct result of the Covid-19 crisis. “You and I can and will revive the South African economy if we make a concerted effort to purchase locally-made products only and are committed to actively supporting South African businesses.”
He says local businesses are the engine of the economy; they create jobs, put back money into the economy, pay taxes and allow the economy to grow at the grassroots level. “Money spent at a local business does not flow out of the country. A lot of these businesses support local manufacturers. This creates a win-win situation for our country”.
Naidoo is concerned about the current state of affairs. “Our economy is in tatters, we have been downgraded to junk status, state-owned enterprises are bankrupt, but I also believe in God’s wisdom. If we unite and people pull together to support local business and buy locally-made products, we have a chance of repairing the damage that the pandemic has done.”
He mentioned that cheap Chinese imports decimated the local textile industry. “Thousands of people lost their jobs as the clothing industry opted to import products from Pakistan and China, enriching these countries, while our economy suffers. We cannot afford to do this any longer; we have to make our voices as consumers heard, and seek out locally-made products. “
Naidoo encourages consumers to find a local coffee shop, seek out local restaurants when they open again, buy locally-made clothes and actively search for locally-made products.
“The Chinese communist party has done a lot of harm, using their wealth to cause harm to other nations; their money is used for evil,” he said.
He believes that if consumers demand it, then the clothing industry can be revived. “If consumers only buy and want products locally-made, more factories will open and our local manufacturing can be revived as a result. We have to create a demand”.
Naidoo believes it is in the best interest of South Africans to support the families of this nation via small businesses. “The family unit is the foundation of our society. The more we strengthen families and support family businesses the better it is for our country as we strengthen the foundation of our country”.
Naidoo says the pandemic is an opportunity. “The church has a great opportunity to share the Gospel and pray with the people. A lot of people are in fear; it is the best time to share a message of hope, start helping and feeding the poor as churches of South Africa pull together resources and go into these areas.
“We need to be out there demonstrating the love of Jesus to the poorest of the poor”.
The message of the Church should be that God has called us not just to survive but to thrive. We can do that by using godly wisdom. The Church should lead by example in ministering to people, encouraging people to walk in faith and by operating in unity. We can thrive as a nation if we follow certain principles, one of which is to forget racial, language and status issues. We are all in this together and should all try our best to make this country successful.
Naidoo says the country has a lot going for it with heaps of potential but there are things that pull people apart, stirred up by different people and different groups.
“We have to be wiser; we are all in this boat together. If this boat sinks, we all go down with it. We also need to pray, pray and pray again for our government; the more that ordinary people demonstrate unity, the more it will have a positive effect on people in seeking the interests of the country, not just focusing on our own interests. We should put South Africa first!”
In 2007, Errol Naidoo founded the Family Policy Institute, a non-profit organisation that aims to make marriage and family the cornerstone of South African social policy.
Click here for more information on the Family Policy Institute and Revive SA-Buy SA campaign.