Certain pharmaceutical products have been selected for domestic production in the latest designations under the amended Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act (PPPFA).
A list of more than 70 potential pharmaceutical products is being finalised.
Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said the designation of the pharmaceutical products would benefit the country in terms of health and the economy.
Under the amended PPPFA, which became effective in December 2011, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) can stipulate sectors and products that government departments, agencies and state-owned enterprises must procure from local manufacturers or suppliers.
The act aims to create security of demand for domestic production and enhance local manufacturing capacity to create decent jobs, add value and build export platforms.
Earlier designations in February included rolling stock, buses, canned vegetables, clothing, textiles, footwear and leather products and set-top boxes.
The pharmaceuticals sector is the fifth-largest contributor to South Africa’s import burden and it is an important challenge to reverse this, while still ensuring that affordable healthcare is available to the private and public sector, said Davies. However, to maintain security of supply, government would continue to source some of its medicines from importers.
Furthermore, to ensure medicine remained affordable, prices would be internationally benchmarked and local manufacturers were required with comply with this benchmark.