Protection can make South African companies lazy, South African Finance Minister Trevor Manuel told the Lion of Africa breakfast on Thursday.
Replying to a question about incentives planned for business owners and another question about what encouragement would there was in Wednesday's budget for exporters, particularly in the clothing and textile industry, Manuel said the government will continue to engage business to ensure that they understand the need to support the local textile industry.
"Part of what we must do is engage with South African business to ensure that they too understand that they can take the world on.
"There are many parts of the global economy where our manufacturing sector has actually niched very successfully. In an environment where you have a far more stable exchange rate ... it is getting that message through."
He emphasised that China -- predominant in the textile industry -- is not "all things, to all people, for all time. You can get right up to their doorstep ... their veranda".
Protection is not something in a budget -- it would be something within the trade agreements -- but the big risk is that protection "often makes companies lazy".
He noted that he was recently in South Korea where he met salesmen who were selling South African textiles. "That spirit is better than anything the government can say. That is the spirit."
story from M&G here