The Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers Union (SACTWU) have raised concerns that thousands of workers are at risk of losing their jobs as the industry grapples with illegal imports into the country.
It says a lack of enforcement and proper inspection of imported goods causes large amounts of cheap imported fabrics and ready-made garments being sold nationwide.
SACTWU’s Simon Eppel says, “Where they are sold very often is in these informal shops on the corner, these so-called Chinese shops, but it’s not just that it is many of these other informal retailers in the country who often are not paying VAT.”
“They may not be paying other kinds of duties or levies on their businesses and they often are paying their workers well below minimum wages and they hawk their goods at extremely cheap prices. That is not just affecting the workers and their businesses; it is affecting SARS income revenue. Then the factories’ thousands of workers are losing their jobs as a consequence of these illegal goods.”
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