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Proudly South African costs

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Proudly South African costs

by Nurene Jassiem
25 Apr 2007
Peoples Post
Peoples Post

Over the past few years numerous campaigns have been launched to lure South Africans into buying only locally made goods and support local artists by purchasing their works and not pirating them.

Although I agree with the idea, I have some issues that I want to get off my chest in this regard.

Firstly, I find that most of the time when I go to mainstream music stores they either don't have stock, or lack variety when it comes to South African music. Then you have to fork out nearly R200 for a CD, a price that seriously dents our low-budget South African pockets.

... seriously dents our low-budget South African pockets

Then, as I am a lover of reading, I hate the fact that local author's books are so expensive. While I understand the time and effort put into writing the book, I don't understand the logic in making South African books so expensive that locals can't afford to buy it.

My big gripe is the clothing industry. While I have compassion for jobs lost when we buy cheap Chinese imports, on my budget I know I'd much rather buy a pair of cheap imported jeans at R50 than pay an arm and a leg for one made locally.

And spreading myths (and some truths) about how poorly people in Chinese factories are being paid is not going to ease my conscience, I'm afraid.

Yesterday morning I was listening to Morning Live (it's a TV show, but my eyes were scanning my semi-empty cupboard for something to wear so I was listening to the TV), and one of the viewers made a very valuable suggestion on how we can get children to read more, and people to buy South African.

My other issue with supporting Proudly South African is that the people doing the hard work are not being given their just desserts.

He suggested that government waiver taxes on books, so the prices can be reduced. This, I think, is a very good idea. Every cent counts and if you consider that VAT is 14% on some goods, it's more a case of saving Rands than just a few cents.

My other issue with supporting Proudly South African is that the people doing the hard work are not being given their just desserts.

A good example of this is the African crafts industry. Beautifully beaded gowns, hand-painted plates and jewellery are sold at exorbitant prices at curio shops and tourist attractions, while the people making the items are paid a measly fee and never really get to reap the fruits of their hard work.

In order to get people to be truly Proudly South African, I think those in the know should follow the advice of Henry Bolingbroke. He said: "Patriotism must be founded on great principals and supported by great virtue".

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