Dear Friends and Comrades,
The South African Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, has made public that he "intends to issue a Notice in terms of Section 26 of the Consumer Protection Act (Act No. 68 of 2008) to require traders in South Africa, not to incorrectly label products that originate from the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) as products of Israel." (GG No.35328 Notice 379 of 2012)
Products from the Israeli Settlements in the OPT are illegal under international law; however, Israel has tried exporting them in recent years under the false pretense of having been “Made in Israel”.
In 2004, the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), which South Africa belongs to, called on member states to "undertake measures... to prevent any products of the illegal Israeli settlements from entering their markets... to decline entry to Israeli settlers and to impose sanctions against companies and entities involved in the construction of the [Israeli] wall." This move by Minister Davies, to have Israeli Settlement products re-labeled, provides muscle to the 2004 NAM declaration and is a concrete step against Israeli Settlement products!
The notice by Minister Rob Davies, together with the NAM declaration, will also pave the way for major consumer involvement, activism and boycott actions, particularly in relation to Israeli products such as Soda Stream (click here)
and Ahava Cosmetics (click here)
which are sold, in contravention of international, in some South African stores such as Dischem, Pick N Pay, Woolworths and Wellness Warehouse. Consumers should demand that these products are removed immediately from our shelves!
Israeli trade with South Africa will no doubt be rendered far more difficult and Israeli companies wanting to do business in our country will now have to think twice.
Meanwhile, in other BDS news:
- Diplomatic Boycott:
In a diplomatic setback for Israel, earlier this week, South Africa's Western Cape Minister for Agriculture, Gerrit van Rensburg, cancelled his trip to Israel - after being notified of SA government policy.
- J.M Coetzee, Cultural Boycott:
On Tuesday, Israel's Ha'aretz Newspaper reported that the South African Nobel Prize Laurette, has refused to attend the upcoming Israeli Writers festival saying that he would only go to Israel "when the peace process goes forward." Another writer to also have cancelled his trip to the same festival, although claiming other diplomatic engagements, was Vikwas Sarup.
- Divestment from Caterpiller Victory:
The Quaker Friends Fiduciary Corporation (FFC), an international Quaker organization, which holds over $200 million in assets, has divested from Caterpillar. FFC divested $900,000 in shares of Caterpillar, a company notorious for its sale of weaponized bulldozers to Israel, used to illegally demolish Palestinian homes.
Finally, we salute the Palestinian political prisoners who have ended their hunger strike and achieved significant gains.
Thanks to all for their solidarity.
BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT AND SANCTIONS in SOUTH AFRICA (BDS SOUTH AFRICA)
Office 915 | 9th Floor | Khotso House | 62 Marshall Street | Johannesburg
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