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Owners of Places Where Counterfeits Goods are Sold Must Face Full Might of the Law – Deputy Minster Masina

The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Mzwandile Masina says landlords and owners of flea markets and business centres where counterfeits goods are sold must face the full might of the law as they contribute to the proliferation of illegal goods in the country. Masina was speaking after he led a raid on shops selling counterfeit CDs and DVDs at the Bright Water Commons Flea Market in Randburg today.

“Government cannot tolerate a situation where owners of these flea markets are turning a blind eye on criminal activities committed in their own premises. People who sell these illegal goods pay rent every month for operating in these centres and their owners cannot claim that they do not know what is sold in their own premises.  The fact that they receive money generated through illegal activities taking place in their premises could well imply that they are complicit to criminal acts that are hurting this country’s economy,” said Masina as he watched officials from the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) confiscating fake DVDs from a shop.

He added that counterfeits CDs and DVDs are not only costing the country’s economy millions of rands but they are also denying artists their right to earn a decent living and robbing them of the revenue that should be contributing in growing the creative industry. He said government recognised the role that the creative industry plays in creating employment and contributing to the country’s economy.

Before conducting the raid, in which he was accompanied by musicians and members of the Johannesburg Metro Police, Masina told journalists that government would not stand aside and watch helplessly as the country’s artists die poor due to the piracy of their products.

“As the dti, we have set aside R50 million from the National Lotteries Commission as part of boosting our efforts aimed at protecting the intellectual property rights of our artists.  We will be providing training to prosecutors to equip them to deal effectively with violators of intellectual property rights and transgressors of the Counterfeit Goods Act, and embarking on a campaign to educate members of the public about the negative impact of buying counterfeit goods to the country’s economy and our artists’ livelihood. Today’s raid is not a once-off. It’s just the beginning. We are committed to eradicating the production and sale of counterfeit goods,” said Masina.

Popular music producer, Mr Robbie Malinga, said the mass production and sale of fake CDs was killing artists and the music industry.

“We are working so hard to earn a living but what is happening in this country is killing us. For one to invest so much time, energy and money to produce music only come accross a fake CD of our artist being sold for R5 in the street corner is really disheartening,” said Malinga.

His views were echoed by Mr Mzwakhe Mbuli who appealed to government to strengthen its efforts to combat piracy.

“Government must work had to bring perpetrators of this economic crime to book,” asserted Mbuli.

Deputy Minister Mzwandile Masina during the raids in Randburg today.

Sidwell Medupe-Departmental Spokesperson
Tel: (012) 394 1650
Mobile: 079 492 1774
Issued by: The Department of Trade and Industry
Follow us on Twitter: @the_dti