The South African Department of Trade and Industry says it is working with local poultry producers to address problems resulting from chickens imported from the European Union (EU).
Major chicken producers have announced steps to begin retrenching more than 3,500 workers, as they struggle under heavy competition from cheap imported chicken.
The department on Tuesday refuted suggestions that it was not doing enough to protect the local poultry industry, saying it was working with local poultry producers to address problems resulting from chicken imports from the EU.
Responding to a plea by the Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu) for the government to tighten regulations on imported chickens in a bid to save local jobs, the department's deputy director-general, Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter, said:
We have been working very closely with the industry to ensure that there is a level of protection that is provided. We have increased the duty on all birds to 82 per cent, which is the maximum allowed in terms of our commitments to the World Trade Organization."
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK