JOHANNESBURG - South Africa will potentially lose up to R34 billion in export revenue if its eligibility for the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) under the United States Trade Act falls away as a result of parliament passing the Copyright Amendment Bill in Parliament last year, a coalition of industry bodies said on Thursday.
The office of the United States trade representative is set to hold public hearings in Washington D.C. on January 30 on whether South Africa remains eligible for its current GSP designation which allows it preferential duty-free access to US markets for selected export products.
In a statement, the Copyright Coalition of South Africa said this had been called into question as a result of last year's passing of the bill and urged President Cyril Ramaphosa to send it back to parliament.
Critics say the bill, which would effectively allow the free use of copyrighted content, would infringe on intellectual property rights.
"The Copyright Coalition of South Africa is calling on President Ramaphosa to act now before it is too late," coalition chairman Collen Dlamini said in a statement on Thursday.