The Department of Trade and Industry, (the dti) and its regulatory agencies, the National Consumer Commission (NCC), and the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) together with the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) and the City of Cape Town with the support of the South African Police Services, conducted compliance inspections at 61 retailers which saw them confiscate 44 non-compliant paraffin heaters and three paraffin stoves.
The non-compliant products were confiscated and removed from retailers that operate in Fish Hoek, Khayelitsha, Nyanga, Ottery and Parow. The announcement was made by the Commissioner of the NCC, Mr Ebrahim Mohamed at the Safe Paraffin Appliance Campaign held in Masiphumelele, Western Cape today.
Mohamed said the NCC will continue to discourage and educate consumers from buying non-compliant paraffin appliances. He warned businesses against selling such appliances to people, warning them that they could face criminal prosecution if they did not stop putting people’s lives at risk.
“I do however believe that the prevalence of these appliances is much more widespread, but by working together as government and society we will root them out of every corner of this province,” said Mohamed.
Masimphumele fire victim, Ms Lulama Jack said communities need to be educated and made aware of safe products especially those that catche fire. She added that being the victim of fire does not only affect one financially but mentally as well.
“I did not only lose my possessions but lost a grandchild in the process. My whole family had to be accommodated at the community hall together with other victims who went through the same ordeal as me,” she said.
She urged the community to take precautions and learn as much as they could about the dangers of illegal paraffin stoves and other goods so that they could protect themselves against the fire.
Addressing the community at the same event, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of NCRS, Mr Edward Mamadise said the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies requested NRCS to deal harshly with businesses that are not obeying the law to ensure that they are brought to book.
He added that they will inspect their premises and prosecute those that are manufacturing, supplying and selling these unsafe products to communities because this is against the law.