Johannesburg - Counterfeit and illicit trade cost South Africa billions annually, a company chief executive said on Wednesday.
“You can't really paper-trail it back to this country in terms of how much it is, but it is costing the country billions,” Unitrade Management Services chief executive Jad Pereira said on the sidelines of the Consumer Goods Council of SA summit in Johannesburg.
Unitrade provides services to independent wholesalers and retailers.
“A lot of the goods stolen stay within our borders, but a lot also get exported, so there is just so much of it that we are not aware of.”
He said there were not exact numbers of how much money was lost with illicit trade, including hijacked or stolen goods.
In the illicit trade in South Africa goods normally fell into the hands of independent traders, Pereira said.
Often the trader got the blame, when everyone in the chain needed to be stopped, he said.
“I think with the influx of immigrants that have come into the country... we don't see them as registered businesses, and all of them are targets for criminals.”
He said it was important to remember that most foreign nationals in the country were honest and the focus should be on working with the police to combat crime.
Pereira welcomed the announcement by national police commissioner Riah Phiyega to partner with companies to combat business robberies. - Sapa