Kilimanjaro Cables Tanzania Limited Manager, Tariq Mohamed said in Dar es Salaam this week that the biggest challenge which local manufacturers face currently is smuggled goods which include electric cables.
“These copycats are threatening jobs of hundreds of Tanzanians, denying the government its revenue but also it’s a security issue because such products are not TBS certified,” said Mohamed who called upon authorities to beef up surveillance in the market.
He further noted that counterfeits and substandard goods which include electric and industrial cables which are rampant in the local market also pose a danger to human health and the environment because they have inferior quality.
“We also have a lot of copycat PVC conductor pipes which look almost equal to genuine pipes in the eyes of a layman hence difficult to be noticed by consumers,” the Kilimanjaro Cables Manager pointed out.
He warned that unless authorities take urgent measures to reverse the tide, local manufacturers will soon close shop because of unfair competition and thus negatively impact on President John Magufuli’s industrialization drive.
“Investors can’t put their money in factories whose products have no guaranteed local market because of smuggled counterfeits,” Mohamed lamented saying that regulatory bodies and law enforcement agents should swing into action and arrest culprits.
He also urged consumers to shun cheap foreign imports of goods which are manufactured locally because the former are not genuine hence not durable while the latter are of high quality and standard.
“Consumers should adopt a culture of buying genuine goods which are brand new and are given on guarantee of a certain period of time during which the supplier should service and repair them once they get broken down,” he advised.
Mohamed who took reporters on a familiarization tour of the Kilimanjaro Cables factory premises to allow them witness warehouse full of new products, said the market is saturated with copycats hence the backlog.
“As you can see, we still have a lot of products at the warehouse because there are many cheap substitutes in the market, as a result, we have retrenched 80 workers because there is no work to do currently,” he lamented.
The company’s Marketing Officer, David Tarimo backed his boss by emphasising the Kilmanjaro Cables and PVC products are of high quality and standards with TBS certification. “Most of the counterfeits are not certified by TBS nor any other quality assurance authority in the country which is risky,” Tarimo warned.
According to Fair Competition Commission’s 2017 report, it shows by 2015, counterfeit products worth over 4.5bn/- have been confiscated and destroyed by the Commission since its establishment in 2007.