Written by Shekinah Zaitun Salanje
Last week Thursday in Johannesburg South Africa, Metro Police clashed with vendors as they went on a raid to confiscate counterfeit goods in their stalls. The vendors retaliated and attacked the Police and it was later reported that they did so because the Police did not issue them with a search warrant.
In response to the incident the Minister of Small Business Development Khumbudzo Ntshaveni said “What happened on Thursday where law enforcement officials were attacked by vendors and hawkers is not acceptable. Any attack on law officials is terrorism”. The minister also made her views very clear on counterfeit goods stating that they are a set back to the economy growth of the country as government largely suffers loss on tax payment.
The country reportedly lost R350 million in the time frame of December 2018 and July 2019 alone, as a result of counterfeit goods in Johannesburg only.
The vendors in earlier reports were said to have been foreign nationals but the Minister dismissed the claims as the investigation is still in process and no conclusion has been made.
Considering past reports of Xenophobic incidents in the nation, such allegations or assumptions should not be entertained unless proven.
“The way forward in curbing this challenge would be the enforcement of by-laws that will focus on ceasing the entry of counterfeit goods in the country as well as tackling the issue of foreign nationals trading in restricted environments”, the minister emphasized.
Shekinah Zaitun Salanje