15 February 2001AMC & Gray Goods
|Cholera everywhere with
Foot-in-Mouth still hounding our various Health Departments. The only
difference now is that it's a country-wide problem.
Instead the normal moaning and bi***ing about our local government, I'd like to change the focus on unscrupulous South African businessmen whom are out to make money instead of helping to build our country up.
We've had this in the past and
it was dealt with effectively by the old National Party government, now
it's back with a vengeance. I am referring to gray marketeers. People who
bring in goods that is downright dangerous for general consumption and/or
use. Not to mention the damage that's being done to brandnames and the
general confidence in the product.
Seems that the world think because we are a Third World country, anything goes. The cheaper it is to manufacture (in other words, the crappier the goods), the easier it is to sell it in South Africa. And boy, do they sell! We've seen battery radios and other appliances selling for a reasonable price, without the technical backup and know-how. It breaks, you replace - there's no fixing these things. We also have the so-called "parallel importers". Had a run-in with one chain that calls themselves "Hi-Fi Corporation". They import ranges (models) that the official agents don't bring in. And due to the obvious lack of infrastructure to maintain these units, they can sell it for a bit cheaper than the official product, but still with a very healthy profit margin.
The real worrying part comes
to inferior products that's live-threatening. Here I'm referring
specifically to vehicles. A company called Afinta Motor Corporation (AMC)
has been treading on very unstable ground lately. It's been discovered by
our local Bereau of Standards that these vehicles are just not safe.
Brakes, steering mechanisms and lights were just some of the factors
highlighted during testing.
Eventually now it seems
something is being done about this whole saga. One lot is trying to get
the job done, while the others adopt a "wait-see" policy without ever
really getting involved. AMC went as far as getting a court-order to
prevent the SABS from releasing it's report, so the customer doesn't have
a clue and sales can continue. The worst is that these same guys knew
(after the SABS findings) exactly what the issues were, but that's going
to cost money now, ain't it?