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SapmaBusiness Report writes that thousands of jobs and the future existence of South African based paint manufacturers are at risk because of a government decision to negotiate the abolition of Chapter 39 import duties.  

This relates specifically to resins from the East African Community (EAC) and Egypt.  The abolition of the duties is linked to the establishment of the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA), which represents an integrated market of 26 countries.  SA signed the agreement in July this year.  Deryck Spence of the SA Paint Manufacturing Association (Sapma), which represents nine manufacturers who account for 90% of the paint products produced locally, said the abolition of the duties was a threat to the survival of the domestic paint manufacturing industry and the jobs it provided.  He says the decision by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to negotiate the import duties was made on the recommendation and endorsement of Nedlac without any consultation with the coatings industry or Sapma.  Nedlac failed to respond to questions other than to state that the matter had been referred to Business Unity SA (Busa).  Olivier Serrao of Busa confirmed the matter had been referred to them about six weeks ago by Nedlac.  He added that Sapma was not a direct member of Busa and, as Busa consulted directly with its member associations, it was up to them to consult with their direct members.  Busa affiliate Caia (Chemical and Allied Industries’ Association) said five Sapma members responded directly to them and these comments and others were submitted to Nedlac.

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