Patel Must Halt the Chicken Price Hikes

Issued by Dean Macpherson MP – DA Shadow Minister of Trade and Industry
06 Aug 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Dean Macpherson MP.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) takes serious note of the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ebrahim Patel’s, intention to end the 12-month hiatus on the egregious anti-dumping duties on chicken imports. We want to be clear: this is a terrible decision.

These tariffs, endorsed by the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) and the Minister, will bring an avalanche of cost increases on an essential food item for millions of South Africans. Tariffs as high as 265% on imports from Brazil, are not just exorbitant, they are a crushing blow to the already vulnerable households.

The DA vehemently opposes this reckless capitulation to protectionism. It’s clear as day that this decision only seeks to protect a few big players at the expense of the average South African. It’s completely irresponsible to bend the knee to this!

Let’s be frank, South Africans are already battling high food inflation. Global supply shocks from the both Russia-Ukraine war and recent bird flu outbreaks have exacerbated this crisis. Why would the Minister want to add astronomical chicken prices to their list of woes? This decision seems painfully out of touch with the economic realities the majority of South Africans face daily.

Minister Patel must immediately reconsider this poorly thought out move. South Africans cannot shoulder more financial strain while our economy is on its knees. We need to protect jobs, promote investment, and more importantly, safeguard the most vulnerable from unnecessary price hikes. The ANC government has failed in each of these measures.

The Minister’s claim that prices will be monitored after the enforcement of the anti-dumping duties is a band-aid on a gunshot wound. The problem is the duties themselves! These are the root cause of the inflated prices.

We need to shun protectionism and embrace fair competition. That’s the only sustainable way to keep prices low and protect our economy from global shocks. We have to ensure that food security and affordability for all South Africans are at the heart of our trade policies.

The DA is ready to fight for South Africans who are battling to put food on the table. We will continue to stand against any policies that threaten their welfare and South Africa’s economic health. It’s time to put the people before protectionism.