8 June 2022 – SARS and the Department of Trade Industry and Competition (DTIC) have joined forces to donate tonnes of seized clothing, blankets and footwear to flood victims in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), Eastern Cape, North West, and the Free State provinces.
The initiative, named Project Sizani (We all Help), took shape after the declaration of a state of disaster by Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa in response to the recent heavy rains and flooding in the Eastern Cape, North West, Free State and Kwa-Zulu Natal provinces.
SARS conceived of the idea of making seized clothing, blankets and footwear available, which are strictly regulated by the Customs Act, Act 91 of 1964, administered by SARS, and the Counterfeit Goods Act, administered by the Dtic, as well as a 2009 and 2020 NEDLAC agreement, stipulating that seized goods must be destroyed so as to avoid disruption to the South African market.
It is important to note that SARS, by itself, is not in a position to conduct an operation of this magnitude from a legislative or operational perspective. A raft of engagements and approvals by various key government and other external stakeholders, as well as their direct involvement, were required to make it happen.
This included a “once-off deviation” from the NEDLAC agreement, as agreed upon during a meeting with key stakeholders in the Clothing Textile Footwear and Leather Industry (CTFL) to enable the donation of specific CTFL goods that have been seized and forfeited to SARS to the victims of the severe weather events of April 2022.