NEWS & ANALYSIS

Boycott of Israeli goods not intention - DTI

Dept says Notice 379 intended to ensure accurate country of origin information

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN LABELLING NOTICE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE BOYCOTT OF ISRAEL

The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), has reiterated that South Africa is not calling for a boycott of Israeli goods/products. This follows the march on the dti in Pretoria yesterday and today in Parliament under the banner of the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), and Shembe Church to handover a petition.

Their petition is in support of the Israel existence and is against Notice 379 that was issued for public comment by the dti's Minister Dr Rob Davies regarding the labelling of products alleged to be originating in the Occupied Palestine Territory by Israeli forces.

The department would like to state that the Notice is not about government calling for a boycott against Israel, but ensuring that consumers in South Africa are provided accurate country of origin information so that they can exercise their own informed choice. In terms of the Consumer Act, consumers must be informed of the country of origin of the product.

South Africa recognises Israel as per United Nations demarcated borders of 1948 until they were disturbed in 1967 during the Six Day War. Furthermore, South Africa is not the first country to call for the appropriate labelling of products emanating from the region. The European Union (12 member states) and the United Kingdom are pioneers in this regard.

Members of the public are encouraged to submit their inputs and comments before the 10 July 2012. The petitions that were submitted by the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), and Shembe Church would form part of the inputs in the process leading to a final decision on the matter. 

Statement issued by Sidwell Medupe, Department of Trade and Industry spokesperson, June 29 2012

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