I refer to Marlene Louw and Langa Simela’s article, in which they made a number of references to import “undercutting” by means of tariff classification manipulation in the poultry industry (“Tariff undercutting fails poultry and cotton sectors”, September 14). That constitutes tariff fraud.  

I spent 10 years in that industry, and while such practices may have existed I never saw any proof of it. Since the authors are claiming the practice is rife, I ask that they back up their assertions by providing concrete evidence of mass tariff fraud, and report it to the authorities so that criminal charges can to be laid against the perpetrators.  

The authors also laud the poultry master plan as a “trailblazer”. Would they please explain, with reference to published local poultry financials, just how the industry will afford to cede “at least 40% of retail procurement spend to black-owned entities” without huge cost-cutting, including significant retrenchments?

They also claim poultry imports have increased by more than 400% over the past two decades, while local poultry sales have remained stagnant. This is total nonsense. Local poultry sales have increased by more than imports over the period referred to. For proof they need look no further than the published turnover figures of the largest industry player before its listing and compare with its sales numbers for financial 2020.

Furthermore, comparable chicken imports are nowhere near the claimed 20%-30% of consumption, but closer to half of this.  Serious claims have again been published. Now let’s see the evidence.

David Wolpert

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