Violence can impact availability of retail stock in SA, says industry body | Fin24
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Violence can impact availability of retail stock in SA, says industry body

Sep 08 2019 07:25
Carin Smith

The Consumer Goods Council of South Africa (CGCSA) is concerned that the violent protests in the country could lead to a significant impact on stock available for retailers.

CGCSA CEO Gwarega Mangozhe told Fin24 earlier this week that one of its biggest members in Gauteng, a manufacturer whom he preferred not to name, had between 60 and 80 of its trucks' deliveries disrupted for a few days in a row.

"This means retailers do not get their stock and there is a loss of income for the truck drivers. No one wins," said Mangozhe.

Within impacted areas, some of the council's retail members had to shut their shops due to the risk of raids. This means they lost tradings days, leading to a loss of revenue, which could even drag a small business down if the violence continues.

"We are picking up acts of criminality and high levels of opportunism among protesters. This is a big cause of concern," said Mangozhe.

He approached the national commissioner of police who assured him that they are trying to get to the roots of what is going on.

"We have, therefore, put certain protocols in place. All our members businesses must ensure they liaise with station commander at their nearest police station. If they get no joy there, they must contact the SAPS at the district level," said Mangozhe.

"If they then still do not get any help, they have to inform me so that I can escalate the issue to the highest level."

Another concern for Mangozhe is what he has experienced as a lot of fake news being spread. This ends up distracting the police from being around to help safeguard shops.

For Mangozhe it is a pity that the violence took place against the backdrop of the World Economic Forum Africa which took place in Cape Town this week.

"We are trying to secure much needed investment to create jobs. What has been happening is deeply unsettling," said Mangozhe.

He said shop owners will do what it takes to safeguard their property. He expects them to try and increase their levels of awareness of happenings in their areas going forward.

"Calm heads and clear actions are needed. SA is still a democracy. There is a right to protest, but there is also a right to free trade. So, a safe and secure environment must be provided to allow trade," said Mangozhe.  

"SA is part of Africa. We have members who operate in countries in the region. Xenophobia does not help to facilitate intra-Africa trade. We need the African market for our SA companies to thrive."

He asked South Africans to remain positive.

"This is the only country we have. SA has amazing potential. Yes, we have societal challenges like joblessness, but we can overcome these by keeping cool heads," he said.

"The violence is affecting the image of SA as an investment and tourism destination at a time when international investors visited the country for WEF."

wefa2019  |  protests  |  sa economy  |  retail  |  violence  |  consumers


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