The Textile, Garment and Leather Employees’ Union (TGLEU) has commended the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) over its decision to clamp down on people selling substandard African wax prints.
The Union in a statement said these substandard products which have flooded the markets, pose serious health risks as the quality of chemical used in manufacturing the prints are unknown.
“TGLEU pledges absolute support for the GSA in the application of its core mandate to ensure that the manufacture and sale of products comply with the laws of this country. We appeal to the GSA to sustain the operations at the points of sale of these counterfeit textiles across the regions to save the country from imminent calamity,” the union said.
The action taken by the GSA should provide a glimmer of hope to textile manufacturers who have lamented the influx of cheap wax prints has led to the near-collapse of the country’s once-vibrant textile industry.
The statement issued by the Union stated that apart from the health risks, the economy of this country suffers immensely through substantial Revenue losses due to the smuggling of these products into the country.
“Consequently, the local textile manufacturing industry which meets statutory tax obligations, applies certified dyestuffs and chemical and employs thousands of workers have been rendered uncompetitive in pricing because of the illicit activities of traders thereby causing the virtual collapse of the industry resulting in massive job losses,” the Union said.
The enforcement team of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) last week closed down several shops at the Accra Central Market including those that deal in prints and fabrics.
The standardization exercise sought to uncover the illegal production of sub-standard or counterfeit products in Ghana, and also ensure that vendors only sell authentic goods to customers.
The GSA, while performing the exercise, took samples of some products to ascertain their authenticity, and locked up some shops in cases where it was realized that the vendors sell a lot of substandard fabrics.
The GSA said the exercise is to rid the markets of substandard goods.
Business Development Manager at the GSA, George Kojo Anti, told Citi Business News the fabrics are hazardous to the skin and as such must not be allowed unto the markets.
“The exercise was to go to the markets, sample products and the suspicious fabrics that are actually dominant in the shops. In the interest of public health and safety, in the interest of consumer protection, then we would temporarily have to suspend the sale of such because they are articles that we suspect hold a danger for life. There is no reason why we should allow at a point where we have seen it with our own eyes to be continued to be sold in public. One human life lost can never be regained” he explained.