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Substandard products on South African shelves due to crippled regulator

Today during a briefing session of the parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Trade, Industry and Competition, it came to light that the national regulator responsible for the quality compliance and regulation of products traded on the South African market has been crippled for some time.

According to the chief executive officer of the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS), Mr Edward Mamadise, vacancies in critical management positions, caused mainly by a lack of available experts with experience in the field of measurement, are seriously hampering the functioning of the NRCS.

And due to a lack of leadership in the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, the Regulator is also failing to fulfil its mandate of developing technical specifications that meet the quick-changing requirements of the local and international market.

This failure results in large quantities of unregulated and substandard products being imported and ending up on the shelves of shops, and even large chain stores, to the detriment of South African consumers.

Moreover, the Regulator’s chances of competitively conducting business are further hampered by labour disputes spanning years as a result of poor labour legislation, government policy and management.

The FF Plus will soon engage with the Minister, Ebrahim Patel, and put pressure on him to implement a drastic intervention plan to turn the Regulator around.

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