Malema wants 50% tariff slapped on chicken imports
EFF leader Julius Malema wants Trade Minister Rob Davies to slap a 50% tariff on all chicken imports‚ warning that an increase in dumping of chicken imports in South Africa is threatening an already frail and declining poultry industry and the jobs of hundreds of farm workers.
In a letter to the minister‚ Malema said that given the massive over-supply witnessed in recent times‚ it has become impossible for local chicken producers to continue to operate‚ let alone to compete internationally‚ ultimately threatening the industry’s sustainability.
“If government does not intervene immediately with decisive measures‚ we will witness the demise of poultry industry‚” he wrote.
Given the unemployment rate of 27.1%‚ the highest in 13 years‚ it was crucial that everything possible was done to prevent further job losses‚ he added.
“We believe that there should be a comprehensive and cogent plan and trade policy to protect‚ not only the poultry industry‚ but the entire food production economy because it is an important part of South Africa’s economy. The ministry and department of trade and industry should develop and adopt a policy framework that should guarantee South Africa’s food sovereignty as a matter of urgency.
“We write to the minister to request that you attend to the matter with the urgency and the sensitivity it requires.
“As an immediate intervention‚ we request the Minister to impose a 50% tariff on all chicken imports and engage all poultry farmers to stop closing their chicken production value chains. This tariff should be underpinned by soliciting a principled agreement that all poultry farmers will introduce employees share schemes‚ which will result in poultry workers owning at least 50% of all poultry production business‚” Malema asserted.
“We also re-emphasise the request we made to you previously that the department of Trade & Industry should give a directive to all retailers that all imported meat products should be visibly marked their country of origin‚ such as MADE IN AMERICA‚ MADE IN BRAZIL‚ MADE IN EUROPE. This will help conscious buyers to isolate dumped chicken from locally produced chicken products‚” the EFF leader added.