File picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)

JOHANNESBURG - The National Consumer Commission (NCC) on Monday said it was dealing with allegations of illicit fake and potentially harmful food products, said to be manufactured by operators of small informal shops, and sold to unsuspecting, vulnerable consumers in various parts of the country.

NCC spokesperson Trevor Hattingh said the NCC had already begun to engage with other relevant authorities, including the South African Police Services (SAPS), the National Department of Health, and the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications, about issues that have been raised on social networks, and was coordinating the formulation of a strategy to best deal with the allegations and the perpetrators, of what appears to be criminal activities.

NCC Commissioner Ebrahim Mohamed said that the NCC was gathering more information, as well as evidence related to the allegations. He is calling on the public to work with the authorities in this regard.

“Whilst we condemn any effort by business to expose consumers to any form of harm, we appeal to communities to not take the law into their own hands. As authorities, we are working on mechanisms to decisively and rationally deal with the allegations and the perpetrators, within the confines of the law,” stressed Mohamed.

In the past week, the NCC said it had learnt about messages on social networks, expressly mobilising communities to engage in protest action against foreign-owned small businesses in various parts of the country, on Wednesday.

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African News Agency (ANA)