The Coca-Cola company has urged consumers to report any of their products that they suspect to be compromised or counterfeit.
This is after counterfeit goods and expired food were confiscated from spaza shops, mostly owned by foreign nationals, during raids on Tuesday.
“We are tracking online concerns and urge any person who has had any product that they believe might have been compromised to immediately report it to our customer care line on 0860 11 2526 so we can investigate the matter,” said Coca-Cola in a statement released on Wednesday morning.
The Star reported that Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi’s spokesperson Popo Maja said there were shocking revelations of foodstuff that had surfaced from social media and been described as fake as well as harmful food colourants in some goods.
Maja said the foodstuff included fake 1.25-litre Coca-Cola bottles with “moving things” inside, 1.25-litre bottles of imitation Fanta Grape, Stoney Ginger Beer with no size indicated, a suspicious Fanta Orange 1.25 litre, Twist Granadilla 2 litres and tonic water 1 litre, Albany brown bread and Blue Band margarine, syrup being sold as honey and baked beans in a fish tin.
“To date, there has been no official contact made to us by any consumer who has bought such products,” said the statement. “Coca-Cola takes every consumer concern seriously and we have procedures in place designed to respond to any matter relating to our products.”
National Consumer Commission (NCC) spokesperson Trevor Hattingh said on Tuesday that he believed the reason the complaints were coming to their attention only now was because people have started their own social media campaign instead of reporting the issues to the NCC.
“That’s actually what we would want them to do, to come and report these issues to us,” said Hattingh. “It’s not going to be that effective to start your own social media campaign and next thing you have vigilante enforcement out there in society. That’s not what we want.”