As the face mask become the world’s most coveted commodity, Proudly South African (Proudly SA) has launched a dedicated marketplace portal for selling locally-made face masks.
The face mask portal is hosted on the Proudly SA website.
The concept of the portal arose from discussions with the SA Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU), the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) and The Manufacturing Circle around steps that could be taken to align initiatives underway in the clothing and textile manufacturing industry with the needs of the public and businesses.
“This initiative is an effort to support a sector of our economy that is able to meet the current pressing demand for face masks, which we have been called on to wear in order to support government’s efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19,” said Proudly SA CEO Eustace Mashimbye.
“It is imperative that we support our local businesses, who have the capacity to produce sufficient masks to meet the country’s needs.”
A call has been made for South Africans to support locally made products as part of efforts to jump-start the economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
South Africa is preparing to move to level 4 of a nationwide lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19 which has gripped the entire world.
Speaking at a media briefing detailing how the country intends to move from the current level 5 lockdown which is expected to end at the end of April, Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel made the call for citizens to buy locally. For more read: Coronavirus: Support Local Business in Fight Against COVID-19
Last Thursday, President Cyril Ramaphosa called on all South Africans to wear a facemask whenever they leave home.
These include a ground-breaking collective agreement at the clothing bargaining council to galvanise the industry to produce more PPE items.
All companies listed on the site have confirmed with the clothing bargaining council that they are genuine manufacturers producing locally made fabric masks, supporting local jobs and operating under conditions that promote the health and safety of workers, among other things.
To help consumers select masks, the portal also provides a link to fabric mask guidelines published by DTIC. The site links corporate buyers with producers of masks.
It is hoped that companies, which are currently using or issuing medical-grade masks to workers, will consider making them available to services on the frontline fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and purchase these alternatives, approved masks for their workers.
The site displays the details of the manufacturer, pictures of the masks, the company’s production capacity per week and unit costs. It advances local manufacturing and jobs over imports and provides for the consumer interest with price, as well as product transparency.
Any company not complying with these requirements and others will be removed from the site.
All manufacturers are required to register before they appear on the site.
“We call on all corporates and retailers to use the portal to source their masks and to liberate any medical-grade stock back to essential services,” said Mashimbye.