In the past, SA’s trade department discovered that there was up to a 60% difference in the value declared by importers in their countries of origin compared to what they declared to South African customs.
But presently, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said the Zuma led-government is gaining ground in curbing the act.
In addition, he disclosed that government has also taken measures to ensure that they collect appropriate tariffs.
Davies, who spoke to media on the side-lines of an Imbizo by the South African clothing, textile and leather industry in Cape Town said, “What we’ve done now is that customs officers have reference pricing. I won’t say we’ve totally mastered the challenge but I think we’ve had some success.”
Meanwhile, the Department of Trade and Industry has expressed its commitment towards improving competitiveness in the furniture manufacturing industry and small-scale furniture manufacturers across the country.
The department said the aim of the move is to foster increase in productivity and contribute in job creation and economic growth.
The Furniture Competitiveness Programme is one of government’s measures identified in the eighth iteration of the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) to boost the capacity of the furniture manufacturing industry.
According to the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, the forestry sector has the potential to create jobs and presents great opportunities for growth through beneficiation and value-addition to wood before exporting.
“Within this sector, the furniture industry has also been identified in the IPAP as an important industry within the South African economy. This is due to the fact that it is labour intensive and has the potential to contribute to reducing the level of unemployment, increase exports and contribute to the development of small and medium enterprises,” SA’s trade department boss related.
The furniture manufacturing industry in the country currently comprises approximately 2 200 registered firms involved in manufacturing of furniture, bedding and upholstery and employs approximately 26 400 factory workers.
It is labour-intensive and contributes about 1% to the manufacturing Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (GDP) and 1.1% to manufacturing employment.