NCC launches nationwide crackdown on expired and unsafe goods

NCC launches nationwide crackdown on expired and unsafe goods

The National Consumer Commission (NCC) has initiated a sweeping crackdown on the sale of unsafe and expired goods across South Africa. This decisive action follows the alarming discovery of widespread non-compliance among retailers who have been selling expired products at discount prices, endangering public health.

Major retailers in Limpopo under scrutiny

The campaign commenced over the weekend in the Capricorn District Municipality, Limpopo. Retail outlets in Seshego, Mankweng, Turfloop, Lebowakgomo, and Polokwane were thoroughly inspected by the NCC. Phetho Ntaba, NCC spokesperson, reported that inspectors found numerous instances of non-compliance, with many goods exceeding their sell-by, use-by, or best-before dates.

“The non-compliant goods were removed from shelves and confiscated. Items such as baby food, sweets, cool drinks, noodles, snacks, tinned foodstuff, and juices were among those found to be expired,” Ntaba said.

Additionally, the inspections revealed that some retailers continued to sell these expired goods at reduced prices, a practice that Ntaba condemned as self-serving and contrary to consumer interests.

“No “discount” is worth the health or well-being of consumers. Section 55 of the CPA provides that every consumer has a right to goods that are of good quality, safe, and comply with applicable standards or any other public regulations,” she added.

Ensuring consumer protection from expired goods

All confiscated items are slated to be destroyed to prevent any further risk to public health. The NCC also discovered other troubling practices during their inspections. Many retailers failed to display prices, making it difficult for consumers to make informed choices. Furthermore, some suppliers either did not issue sales receipts or provided records that were not compliant with the Consumer Protection Act.

“The failure to display prices undermines consumers’ right to make informed purchasing decisions. Moreover, inconsistencies in sales records violate consumer protection laws,” Ntaba explained.

The NCC’s plan aims to ensure that all retailers adhere strictly to safety and compliance standards, prioritising consumer health and rights.