The government has warned social media users of sharing fake adverse information about foreigners to desist for “security reasons”, reported Pretoria East Rekord.
Deputy Communications Minister Pinky Kekana said the distribution of videos and images of “fake food” supposedly purchased from stores owned by foreigners could have “real consequences for the sanctity of our nation and its democratic values”.
A photograph of a minor who had allegedly contracted a mouth disease after consuming ‘fake food’ recently surfaced on social media. The controversial post’s legitimacy was unconfirmed but sparked further outrage directed towards foreign nationals, who have of late been accused of selling fake foods and goods at tuckshops across the country.
“What is more disconcerting is that the image comes at a time where citizens have taken issue with the quality of perishable goods sold mainly in the townships and semi-urban areas; and particularly of stores which are owned and/or managed by foreign nationals,” said Kekana.
She urged residents to report any suspicious food items or businesses selling expired food products to the National Consumer Commission on 012-428-7000 or by email to complaints@the ncc.org.za.
Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi last week said the department has yet to receive evidence of the “fake food”.
Motsoaledi said: “We appeal to the public, including the media, to bring to authorities tangible evidence of foodstuffs made of non-biological and potentially harmful substances and chemicals, as well as [evidence of] the sale of expired food.”
He added the department had visited all food outlets in 52 district municipalities and metros to investigate the quality of food and found that “of the 454 outlets raided and 281 operated without valid health certificates, 100 were closed down, 292 were found to be non-compliant, 2 151 food items seized and 1 296 foods items would be investigated further”.
He said the food industry had been asked to confirm the authenticity of the supposedly “fake food” and to authenticate their stock sources if they carried similar brands.