Ricochet News

Govt to intensify crackdown on illicit, fake products

Aug 31, 2018
Govt to intensify crackdown on illicit, fake products

An Interdepartmental meeting on illicit fake food products in South Africa, has resolved to ensure that there is visible enforcement of all related regulations around the products which are illicit.

"The decision was taken at a meeting that was held in Pretoria. All key regulatory bodies will be involved in joint operations. The focus will be on law enforcement and education," said Sidwell Medupe, Departmental Spokesperson. 

"Government has seen a gap in and around awareness of consumers in relations to information related to safety of food products.

"Government will invest in ensuring that consumers understand terms that are being used in the market like sell-by date and use-by date so that they can make informed decisions on product that are displayed for sale. The meeting has further emphasised that products that have reached their sell-by date should not be offered for sale." 

Medupe further said that the meeting has also agreed that there should be a Stakeholder Engagement Forum with different business formations next week.

"The meeting raised concern around the spreading of fake news on illicit fake food products, these fake news have the potential to create public panic and fuel emotions. The public is encouraged to come forward with evidence to assist with enforcement while every step will be taken to protect their identity," he described.

"Complains on illicit fake food products can be directed to the following numbers, National Consumer Commission 012 428-7000, Department of Health 011 386-2003/6, and Business Against Crime 32211. These numbers are operational Monday- Friday between 09:00-15:00." 

Medupe said that earlier on, government condemned the escalating incidences of unlawful raids of spaza shops by communities.

Government Spokesperson, Phumla Williams, said government has a zero tolerance approach to corrupt activities and the selling of fake items falls within corrupt activities and robs the people of their human dignity.

Williams said substandard and fake goods, especially consumables, carry potential risks and danger to human health.