Parliament, Wednesday, 25 April 2018 – The Chairperson of the Select Committee on Trade and International Relations, Mr Eddie Makue, has welcomed Zara’s move to remove Maxhosa socks, copied from a local designer.
Mr Makue said the domination of the market by well-established brands and companies was bad, especially if it led to the suffocation of local entrepreneurs.
“Within the ambit of trade we looking at localisation, empowerment and inclusive growth that enhances the empowerment of black designers as well as patent laws,” Mr Makue said.
“The committee welcomes this move and wishes to emphasise that authorities need to do all in their power to ensure sustainability of local producers, local markets, and local goods. The committee supports Laduma Ngxokolo's actions in ensuring that he benefits from his creative work,” he said.
“There are many of these unfair practices where the small guy is not even acknowledged. We are inspired by his fight to take this giant retailer, and in fact force it to drop the copied work,” he said.
Ngxokolo, a local designer, has been involved in a fight with Zara following copied designs of his pair of socks.
“It should not end there. Zara should share with Ngxokolo whatever benefit was accrued illegitimately. This is theft and nothing more, and it necessitates protection of the small guy through stringent copyright legislation,” Mr Makue said.
“The country is not done with a cellphone giant, which is alleged to have stolen an idea from a local guy. Theft discourages innovation. It ought to be strictly regulated,” he said.
The Department of Trade and Industry should see whether it could assist Ngxokolo and provide legal support to ensure that what is owed to him is paid.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE ACTING CHAIRPERSON OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON TRADE AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, MR EDDIE MAKUE.
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