Durban - Counterfeit goods, valued at about R1 billion, were seized at the Durban harbour. According to KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala, the operation spanned 12 months.
Zikalala led a delegation through the Maydon Wharf and Bayhead stretch on Thursday morning, focusing on compliance in the freight and logistics industry.
The operation comprised of various government agencies including the police, the SANDF, metro police, the Road Traffic Inspectorate, the Department of Home Affairs and the Department of Labour.
Zikalala said the proliferation of counterfeit goods is tantamount to economic sabotage because these activities steal the market share from legitimate businesses and has negative implications for economic growth.
According to the Consumer Goods Council of SA (CGCSA), illicit trade is one of the biggest threats to economic order and growth in South Africa.
The council said this threat affects various industries which include, but is not limited to, alcohol, cigarettes, pharmaceuticals, food and apparel.
“Illicit trade and counterfeiting of goods robs the fiscus of taxes and in so doing impairs the government ability to serve the citizens of South Africa effectively. Counterfeit food also poses a health risk to the consumer as the contents of these products are unknown and not verified,” the CGCSA reported.
Last year, it was reported the SA lost about R250 million each day in tax revenue due to illicit trading.