The Eastern Cape Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEDEAT) joined hands with the National Regulatory for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS), regulation services and other stakeholders to carry out a series of consumer awareness campaigns and business inspections in rural areas of OR Tambo and Alfred Nzo regions.
The primary objective of these initiatives was to educate consumers about the risks associated with substandard products and enforce compliance with compulsory specifications.
The campaign spanned multiple locations, including Mt Frere, Qumbu, Mthatha, and Mqanduli, culminating in a main event held in Empa, Qunu on 22 June 2023. The focus was primarily on reaching rural consumers who often face challenges in accessing vital information and resources concerning product safety.
During the course of the campaign, the joint forces took decisive action by seizing and confiscating a considerable number of non-compliant goods. Among the items confiscated were automotive and chemical products, mechanical devices and materials, electrical products and appliances, canned meat products and fish. These measures were implemented to safeguard consumers from potential harm and to uphold the stringent standards set by the NRCS.
The main event held in Empa, Qunu witnessed the presence of important guests including Hon Pumelele Ndamase, DEDEAT Committee Portfolio Chairperson who was the keynote speaker for the day. Other notable attendees included Cllr Nyaniso Nelani, the Mayor of King Sabata Dalindyebo; Chief Nokwanele Balizulu; the Chief Operations Officer of NCRS, and Ms Thembakazi Tshefu, the Alfred Regional Director of DEDEAT.
The selection of these regions as the target province for these campaigns reflects the partners’ recognition of the significance of reaching out to rural communities. Through their combined efforts, consumers were empowered with knowledge about substandard products, while businesses were reminded of the importance of adhering to compulsory specifications.
The collaborative efforts of DEDEAT, Regulation Services and the NRCS have undoubtedly bolstered consumer protection in the Eastern Cape.