Kevin Lovell the chief executive of the South African Poultry Association has revealed that 50,000 South Africans will soon lose their jobs.
According to Lovell, the losing jobs anticipated is a direct consequence of poultry imports.
Already, one of South Africa’s largest chicken producers – Rainbow Chicken – will be selling off 15 of its farms based in Hammarsdale, KwaZulu-Natal come end of this month.
Lovell lamented that poultry imports would wreck the economy. He was quoted to have said:
“The basic principal behind how the importing of poultry is affecting the industry is that it comes down to unfair competition.
Our production costs cannot compete with the unfair competition from the importing countries.”
He also wailed that South Africa has become a waste receptacle for the developed world.
“What it comes down to is that there is a need for the developed world like the European Union to get rid of waste, which is then pumped into our economy.”
Adding that the government have the necessary measures that will help it manage the crisis, Lovell upheld that they are not utilizing them and, warned that “things are going to get much worse.”
Meanwhile, it was about a month ago that the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) noted the concerns raised by the poultry industry on the increase in imports of poultry products.
Then, dti asserted that government and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), has been working with the domestic industry to address the challenges in the industry.
According to the department, actions were taken by government to address the challenges in the industry.
The actions include an increase in tariffs covering a number of poultry products in line with South Africa’s international commitments and imposing trade remedies where evidence indicates dumping of poultry in the South Africa market or where there is a surge in imports.
Again, it was then, indicated that a national committee has been established by the dti to consider all the challenges experienced by the domestic poultry industry and develop a comprehensive strategy to address these challenges in a holistic and sustainable manner.