Proudly South African hosted its 12th annual Buy Local Summit and Expo at the Sandton Convention Centre in a two-day (25 & 26 March 2024) affair of local splendour. This year, Proudly SA’s summit and expo, which is a celebration of all local manufacturers within the borders of South Africa wanted to create a conducive environment for smaller businesses to collaborate with bigger businesses.  

The expo floor hosted 200+ of Mzansi’s local SMMEs, who had the opportunity to showcase their goods and services to the public, private businesses, buyers, and procurement officials as well as special guests such as the Minister of the Department of Trade, Industry, and Competition (dtic), Ebrahim Patel and the Minister of the Department of Small Business Development, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams during the two-day spectacle. 

The dtic Minister Ebrahim Patel officially launched the exhibition and conference, which was created to encourage the support of our home-grown brands. Minister Patel delivered the keynote address and called for the buying of locally produced products and services, as this will strengthen the economy and create much-needed jobs. Minister Patel lauded Proudly SA for representing both a vision and a set of actions, stating; “Proudly SA’s very vision is one of a country that produces more and more goods and services that consumers buy, proudly knowing that it is of high quality”.  

Speeches weren’t the only order of the day, but guests were treated to insightful panel discussions under the summit and expo’s theme of “Localisation – an all-inclusive approach for all sectors of society to contribute to economic growth and job creation.” Day one of the expo ended with the much-anticipated Amapiano panel discussion which had the likes of Robot Boii, Thulaniway, Bontle M, DJ Legendary Crisp, and Brand SA representative Jimmy Ranamane shred their successes, struggles, and hopes for the musical genre that has taken the world by storm. 

The Minister of the Department of Small Business Development, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams walked the floors and interacted with SMMEs. In her keynote address on the final day of the summit, she put it aptly that entrepreneurs need to collaborate more with one another to grow their businesses, create jobs, as well as grow the economy. The programme for the second day was jam-packed with informative discussions such as the SMME showcase, which had local entrepreneurs telling success stories of their entrepreneurial journey. The next panel discussion themed Localisation in action: Driving Industrialisation through ESD programmes, saw representatives from ABSA, SAB, FNB, Telkom, and Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa, sharing what their businesses have done to equip and promote SMME growth and sustainability within the economy. 

The next session, which was powered by Takealot, featured representatives from Zulzi, Bob Shop, and Takealot, as they elaborated on how eCommerce and other online platforms help drive localisation, industrialisation, and the growth of SMMEs in our country. 

Proudly SA introduced three new segments in this year’s summit, the first being family affairs, where the spotlight was on local businesses that were founded and run by family members. The second segment was the pitching tank, to equip small business owners with the necessary skills to be able to pitch for funding or business support from buyers and other commercial businesses. The third segment which is a robust reminder to the public, that our local fashion is on par with the best in the world, by hosting a “Local Walk” on the expo floor, which housed clothing brands such as Scalo, Zulu Madame, Otiz Seflo and the legendary David Tlale. South Africa, who needs Diamond Walk when we have the Local Walk? The day ended with a celebration of local gin on the expo floor, where Black Crown, Vuttomi Liquids, and the Gin Company Africa showcased their mixology skills.

“This magnificent display of some of the best South Africa has to offer would not have been made possible without the support and backing of our sponsors, who heeded the call to uplift and give a platform to small business owners.” Proudly SA CEO, Eustace Mashimbye would like to thank all our sponsors who are very dear friends of the campaign, who not only talk about supporting small businesses but put their money, time, and brand behind small businesses to ensure the stimulation and growth of our economy. Thank you to our dear friends at ABSA, the Department of Small Business Development, the Department of Trade, Industry, and Competition, Sasol, Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa, Telkom, Lactalis, FNB, South 32, Southern Sun, South African Breweries, the Takealot group, Naspers, Nestlé ESAR, and Brand SA. 

Mashimbye says that “Minister Patel has requested that all citizens prioritise the purchasing and procurement of local goods and services. We as Proudly South African, ask that you think of the future of our children when you make any purchasing decision and that you take the responsibility of changing the status quo by choosing to buy local, to create jobs.” 

For more, visit  or Follow Proudly SA on all social media platforms @proudlysa. 

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