Members of the Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu) and the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) marched to Sars today to demand that government take decisive action against illicit trade.
The unions say illicit trading costs the country billions of rands and results in job losses. They further called on the state to do away with trade agreements.
Union members from the liquor, beverages, textile and tobacco industries downed tools to stage their protest action.
Speaking earlier today on radio 702, Fawu general secretary Katishi Masemola said the impact illicit trading had on these industries was not only job losses and the loss of revenue to the fiscus, but also “the risk health exposure to illicitly traded goods”.
“We are targeting sectors such as tobacco and cigarette manufacturing, alcohol beverages, the soft drinks, as well as the fishing and the sugar,” he said.
Masemola said the unions decided to march to Sars because they wanted illicit traders to pay taxes and be brought to book. He further said should Sars increase its capacity and redouble its efforts, clamping down on illicit trade would be a success.
“Clamping down on illicit trading will actually assist in getting the necessary revenue flows to the fiscus,” he said.
He added the unions did not think the sugar tax and liquor bill must be signed into law.
ALSO READ: Mkhwebane insists the Gupta leaks were outside scope of Estina probe