The production and sale of fake and counterfeit goods impacts negatively on the economy as those involved mostly do not pay taxes.
They push out genuine businesses who are not only paying taxes, but also employ thousands of South African workers. It is for this reason that a crackdown on contraband is an imperative.
But, in carrying this out, government leaders and others in authority should guard against a language that seeks to portray foreign nationals as being primarily responsible for lawlessness.
Such is not just plainly false, but fosters dangerous xenophobic attitudes that could lead to violent vigilantism. A crackdown on crime is possible without criminalising every foreign born trader working in the CBD.