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25th Aug 2022

Architect Africa Online

Africa's Leading Architecture Aggregator

Specify South Africa

Each shift run at FloorworX, which is based in East London where unemployment is the highest in the country at over 50%, employs 50 operators, which equals food for 400 people.

Employment means giving South Africans hope and a future, or in simpler terms – it is people’s dreams and livelihoods.

South Africa’s employment rate has been hugely affected by recent events such as the Covid pandemic and looting. According to Prinesha Naidoo of Bloomberg¹, “Unemployment in South Africa has surged, and we now find South Africa sitting at the top of the most undesirable list – No. 1 in global unemployment. The expanded version of unemployment, which includes people available to work but not looking also increased alarmingly from 43.2% to 44.4%!”

Silver lining

Specify South Africa is a local initiative aimed at encouraging more locally manufactured goods, which will, in turn, assist manufacturing and the creation of more local jobs. With so many products being imported, the impact on the local economy is exacerbated along with people’s livelihoods.

Let’s use FloorworX as an example. Our company is based in East London where unemployment is the highest in the country at over 50%. The reality is that each person employed, in turn, feeds eight people. This means that each shift run with 50 employed operators equals food for 400 people, demonstrating the massive direct impact of local employment.

With imports currently the only competition to FloorworX’s products, by procuring and manufacturing locally we could move to two or three shifts and increase the number of employed people to 100 or 150 and feed 800 or 1200 people in the local community.

FloorworX is by no means the only local manufacturer facing this reality. There are many more companies that can help to make this massive mind shift change, resulting in the prosperity of our local economy rather than that of others.

So, when you look at specifying next time, ask the questions, “Where is this product manufactured and is there a locally manufactured option available?”

¹Source: (Naidoo, 2021, “South Africa’s unemployment rate is now highest in the world,” 23 August 2021,

Syndicated content from Leading Architecture & Design


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