Create law to force buying of local goods – expert

SHARE   |   Monday, 28 November 2016   |   By Kabelo Adamson
Create law to force buying of local goods – expert

Proudly South African CEO Eustace Mgi Mashimbye says Botswana should introduce incentives for companies that support or are part of the Buy Botswana campaign to promote buying local. Mashimbye was speaking on Monday at the Buy Botswana Expo and Thought Leadership Conferencein Gaborone. He suggested tax incentives as one of the ways the government could adopt to promote Buy Botswana campaign. Some of the recommendations that the Proudly SA CEO provided at the Expo, which attracted local entrepreneurs from diverse sectors, is that legislation on Buy Botswana should be in place so as to bring in the legal perspective to the campaign. Even though the Citizen Economic Empowerment policy is currently in place, most companies still seem reluctant to buy from the local producers and the country currently imports virtually everything with the import bill reportedly going over P70 billion on a yearly basis. There is an argument that until the Citizen Economic Empowerment is turned into a law, then the status quo is set to remain. Mashimbye said the state should also look into funding the buy local movement and use the public procurement process to boost local procurement. Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) Chief Operating Officer, Meshack Tshekedi, said opportunities do exist in Botswana for entrepreneurs that could in turn reduce the import bill. He urged entrepreneurs to make their clients understand the services and products they offer. Speaking at same event, the Managing Director of PPC, Werner de Beer said though his organisation which employs over 200 people is in support of the national objectives, there are some disconnections such as job creation versus job protection as well as export opportunities versus local capacity squeeze. The other disconnection, he said, is the private sector competiveness versus uneven playing field.