Cape Town – Those people dumping illicit and unsafe products on the South African market will face the full might of the law, warned Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies.
He warned the perpetrators that illicit, unsafe products are not welcome in SA.
“We want to warn perpetrators that if we find them, they will lose their products as these will be destroyed. They must also be prepared to face the full-might of the law,” cautioned Davies.
He was speaking at an event in Cape Town where goods confiscated from ports of entry as well as from suppliers were destroyed. The goods were declared as sub-standard in terms of the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) Act. The goods had an estimated total value of R36.6m and included electro-technical, chemical and mechanical products. About 80% of the products were impounded at ports of entry through the border enforcement strategy the NRCS has embarked on since 2011.
Davies emphasised that trading in such sub-standard and low quality products is a criminal enterprise and shall be treated as such.
According to Davies, non-compliant goods are harmful to consumers and create unfair competition for local firms, which produce compliant products. Therefore, it is important to ensure that these kinds of products do not make their way back onto the market.
“We want to root out these non-compliant products and make sure people who are selling these products are intercepted and subject to criminal penalties. Government – at all levels – must react to the challenges of these non-compliant products and cooperate with the private sector to solve these challenges,” said Davies.
Beyers Theron, executive of customs at the SA Revenue Service (Sars), said the toxic and corrosive nature of illicit trade and organised transnational crimes harms economic growth and job creation, challenges the rule of law, robs government of needed revenue and threatens human rights and quality of life.
He emphasised that tackling the challenge required a coordinated governmental response. He pledged Sars’ continuous support to the NRCS in ensuring that substandard products and products that affect the health and safety of consumers are effectively detected and controlled at the ports.