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Last updated: 30 August 2018

FAWU Condemns Violent Attacks on Foreign Nationals & Calls For Peaceful Protests Against Illlicit Goods

30 August 2018

The Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU) is disturbed by the reported attacks and deaths of foreign nationals that operate as informal traders in our townships and villages based on accusations that they trade in fake and expired goods and counterfeit products.

While we support a peaceful campaign against illicit trade- a campaign we have been waging by protest marches to the South Africa Revenue Services (SARS) in March 2018 and again to the National Treasury on 14th August 2018 - we are now calling for the urgent clamping down of illegal operators and illegitimate importers as with illicit traders, for the sake of local jobs, health to the nation and revenue to the fiscus.

What we cannot do is to support is the attacks on foreign nationals, their killings, damage to or looting of property, and the injury to them and to others caught in the situation. If anything, we call on local citizens to cease with and desist from further attacking foreign nationals.

Actually, we believe that every evidence fake and expired goods, counterfeit and smuggled products, and illegally manufactured foodstuff and other products must be reported to law enforcement agencies, consumer commission and other authorities.

In the same breath, we call on the State President Cyril Ramaphosa to take the matter seriously and establish a multi-disciplinary task force; involving health inspectors, tax officials, police officers, and other relevant players; that will crack down on illegal local manufacturers, illegitimate importers and smugglers, and overall illicit traders involved in a range of products as but not limited to below:

  • White spirits and other alcohol
  • Beverage soft drinks
  • Cigarettes and other tobacco products
  • Sweetened and sugary candies
  • Poultry and chicken products
  • Fishing products
  • Basic foodstuffs
  • Pharmaceutical products
  • Other basic necessities
  • Poultry and chicken products

Meanwhile, we call on communities to be engaged in peaceful protest actions and stage marches to the authorities and add a call by FAWU that government, with the call now to the State President, to assemble a multi-faceted task force and get the mission going as we do not have the luxury of time . One day passing by means more jobs are being threatened, health is at risk and revenue to the fiscus at stake.

For more information contact Katishi Masemola, General Secretary, at 082 467 2509

Enquiries: Dominique Martin, Media Liaison Officer- 082 498 5631