CALL FOR PROBE INTO ‘FAKE’ FOODS

CALL FOR PROBE INTO ‘FAKE’ FOODS

Premier Phumulo Masualle wants an urgent investigation into spaza shops following allegations that the unregulated businesses are selling fake food items.

Claims of spaza shops selling fake food and soft drinks were made on social media, however, the authenticity of the reports could not be verified.

The South African Bureau of Standards said it was no longer mandated by government to test spaza shop products.

However, provincial government spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said the allegations were disturbing. “He [Masualle] has since requested the MEC for health, Helen Sauls-August, to convene an urgent meeting between municipalities, health environmental practitioners, SAPS and SABS.

“It is critical that the situation is attended to in order to curb public reaction which may end up targeting those being accused of producing such products which appear to be harmful or a health hazard. These products, if they are indeed fake, are not only putting the lives of our people at risk but also threatening the economic growth of the province,” Kupelo said in a statement.

Provincial health spokesperson Lwandile Sicwetsha said: “We are not aware of this nor did we receive any correspondence from the Premier’s Office.” Social media users called on the SABS to take action.

However, SABS spokesperson Bjorn Buyst said there was nothing they could do.

“We do not have the authority to make those calls on what is allowed [or] illegal. We only test products that come to us. If someone wants to test the products they can come to us.

“Producers of products were no longer mandated by law to test at SABS anymore and that is why you might see a lot of products coming into the market illegally,” Buyst said.

Bhongo Jacob / Dispatch Live

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Nigerians in South Africa
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