fake goods seized
The SA Clothing and Textile Workers Union has welcomed the raids by the SA Revenue Services and police on traders selling counterfeit goods.
This week Sars, in conjunction with the police, raided illegal traders operating from a block of inner-city flats that have been converted into a shopping mall and confiscated fake goods that include well-known brands such as Nike, Lacoste, Adidas and Levi's.
The traders are mostly Ethiopian and Chinese nationals.
Yesterday Sactwu deputy general secretary André Kriel said illegally imported goods were undermining legitimate local manufacturers who comply with the country's tax and labour laws. This resulted in the retrenchment of workers and the closing down of factories.
"The levels of illegally imported goods have been estimated at approximately 30percent of total clothing sales. For the clothing sector alone this amounts to a loss of between 20000 and 30000 jobs - a travesty in a country with almost 40percent unemployment.
"Successfully combating illegal clothing imports will have a significant and positive impact."
Kriel said Sactwu and its members were heartened by Sars' promise to continue raiding the traders.
"We urge Sars to not only confiscate the illegally imported goods but also to ensure that shop owners and importers involved are criminally charged to ensure they do not continue their illegal activities," he said.