Cheryl Kahla
Deputy Online News Editor
2 minute read
15 Jan 2022
8:49 am

‘Economic sabotage’: Counterfeit goods worth R1 billion seized at Durban harbour

Cheryl Kahla

Officers conducted cargo inspections at the Bayhead Port Terminal near the Durban Harbour this week.

Photo: iStock

Counterfeit goods to the value of R1 billion has been confiscated at the Durban harbour by police during integrated multi-disciplinary law enforcement operations spanning 12 months.

KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Premier Sihle Zikalala called on the freight and logistics industry to do their part and “prioritise South Africans”.

Counterfeit bust

R1b worth of goods seized at Durban harbour

The operation – led by Zikalala – focused on freight and logistics activities at the Maydon Wharf and Bayhead stretch.

Officers conducted cargo inspections at the Bayhead Port Terminal near the Durban Harbour and uncovered a container filled with counterfeit perfumes and other products.

Five foreign truck drivers were ordered to disembark from their trucks and three were arrested for not having proper documentation.

Clamping down on counterfeit goods

Zikalala was joined by members of the South African Police Service (Saps), the SA National Defence Force (SANDF), the Road Traffic Inspectorate, the Department of Home Affairs, and the Department of Labour.

The aim of the operation was to end economic sabotage which has a negative impact legitimate South African businesses.

“The proliferation of counterfeit goods is tantamount to economic sabotage because these illicit activities steal the market share from legitimate businesses and have negative implications for economic growth,” Zikalala said.

Impact of counterfeit goods on econony

Unfortunately, the illicit trade of counterfeit goods is one of the biggest threats to South Africa’s economy, according to the Consumer Goods Council of SA (CGCSA).

“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”, the CGCSA explained.

In addition to the negative impact counterfeit alcohol, cigarettes, and clothes may have on the economy, counterfeit food and pharmaceuticals pose an even bigger risk.

“[Counterfeit food] poses a health risk to the consumer as the contents of these products are unknown and not cerified,” the CGCSA said.