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Bikers from clubs across Cape Town gathered outside Parliament yesterday to protest against a new policy that may see ”grey” importers selling discounted motorcycles lose business.
Parallel (grey) importers offer customers the same motorcycle model as the official distributor at a discounted price.
The new policy would require that special testing be done and that certificates be linked to the import of the motorcycle or parts.
The new policy is set to come into effect by December 1.
Cosatu provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich said it would affect jobs.
“We have lost too many jobs in this country and because this policy doesn’t carefully consider the loss of jobs, more jobs could be lost.”
He used the example of the clothing industry that used to be prominent in Salt River and was taken over by imports from countries such as China.
“The only way we can go forward is to stand together and make sure that government understands the dangers of the impacts… we need to be able to support the industry and consider that they bring costs down.”
Effectively the new policy would mean that only franchise importers would be allowed to import bikes.
Speaking on behalf of the Parallel Importer of Motorcycles Traders Association of SA, Trevor Davids said there were about 250 000 unofficial bike clubs in the Western Cape.
“For the government to continue and implement this new policy will mean that only one side will benefit. What they have created is a one-size-fits-all and that will only benefit one half.”
Davids said they were in constant meetings at Parliament to try and come to a better agreement.
“Bike sales have been low since 1993 and people want to be able to walk into a bike shop and buy a quality bike at a reasonable price…
“There is also the issue of job losses and we can’t see an increase in unemployment.” -Cape Argus