Ramaphosa: SARS taking the lead in curbing illegal Chinese clothing imports

President Cyril Ramaphosa has promised workers that government will do more to clamp down on the illegal importation of Chinese clothing and textiles which undercut locally manufactured goods. 

Ramaphosa was addressing the national congress of the Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers’ Union in Durban on Monday. 

"When we allow illicit goods to come in it undermines you, it undercuts you, and it destroys your jobs," Ramaphosa said to applause. 

Thousands of raids

In an hour-long address, Ramaphosa told delegates that the SA Revenue Service has been ramping up its investigative and enforcement capacity to better counter illegal clothing imports, which have contributed to job losses in SA's clothing and textile industry. This forms part of the tax agency's illicit economy unit, which is also seeking to disrupt the illegal tobacco and fuel trade.

Ramaphosa said that, between July and September, the revenue collection agency had conducted 2 500 raids searching for counterfeit and illegally imported goods. The raids had netted goods with an estimated value of over R1bn. He said many of the goods uncovered in the raids were clothes and textiles. 

The president told delegates that Minister of Trade and Industry Ebrahim Patel had met with China's ambassador to SA, as well as the country's vice-minister of trade, to discuss illegal imports and under-invoicing of clothing and textiles. 

Ramaphosa also said government would become more vigilant in enforcing 'buy local' procurement provisions to support the local clothing and textile industry. 

"At times we have not been as vigilant as we should be, and we are now going to be more vigilant as we are getting cleverer and wiser by the day as an entrepreneurial state," he said. 

He told delegates that the the African Continental Free Trade Agreement - which will create the world's largest free trade area once operational - would open the continent up to South African imports. 

During his address Ramaphosa also said his apology to Zimbabweans over the weekend was necessary after xenophobic attacks tarnished South Africa's international reputation.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
ZAR/USD
15.12
(+0.36)
ZAR/GBP
20.24
(+0.23)
ZAR/EUR
18.02
(+0.24)
ZAR/AUD
11.14
(+0.40)
ZAR/JPY
0.14
(+0.35)
Gold
1806.39
(-0.14)
Silver
23.32
(+0.29)
Platinum
965.00
(+0.83)
Brent Crude
47.84
(+3.78)
Palladium
2323.00
(-0.13)
All Share
57742.19
(-0.03)
Top 40
52940.79
(-0.20)
Financial 15
11641.10
(-0.29)
Industrial 25
79835.50
(-0.36)
Resource 10
52605.42
(+0.07)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, and I've gotten it.
22% - 335 votes
No, I did not.
51% - 790 votes
My landlord refused
28% - 427 votes
Vote