Unsafe stoves exchanged

2016-12-07 06:02
Lilly Goeieman exchanges her old non-compliant paraffin stove with the new compliant one. With her is the commissioner of the National Consumer Commission (NCC), Ebrahim Mohamed, at the Kutlwanong Stadium. Photos: Boipelo Mere

Lilly Goeieman exchanges her old non-compliant paraffin stove with the new compliant one. With her is the commissioner of the National Consumer Commission (NCC), Ebrahim Mohamed, at the Kutlwanong Stadium. Photos: Boipelo Mere

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Lilly Goeieman from the Madiba Square Squatter Camp in Kimberley was amongst the residents who appreciated the education on the safe use of paraffin stoves at the Kutlwanong Stadium.

Her household was one of the 1 800 households that were visited by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and its regulatory agencies in and around Warrenton and Galeshewe.

These visits took place during the week-long Safer Paraffin Stove Campaign from 13 to 17 November.

Goeieman said the education came in handy for the poor and vulnerable Galeshewe community.

“This time of year, some of the parents tend to be in a relaxed mood and leave children to cook, while some are left with no choice, as they have to go to work,” she said.

During this national campaign, homeowners’ old and non-compliant stoves were confiscated and replaced with brand-new compliant stoves that comply with quality and safety standards set by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS).

The acting chief executive officer of the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS), Edward Mamadise, said the disturbing fact was that there were so many suppliers who continue to prey on the ignorance of vulnerable and poor consumers.

He said they do this through selling paraffin stoves that are sub-standard and do not perform in line with the quality requirements.

“We aim to stop these non-complaint goods before they reach the market and ultimately the consumer,” he said.

The commissioner for NCC, Ebrahim Mohamed, added that both the National Consumer Commision (NCC) and the NRCS have over the past three years conducted inspections which indicate that non-compliant paraffin appliances were popular because they were cheaper.

He said the inspection reports have shown that the non-compliant appliances were not manufactured locally and were illegally imported.

“We are also warning businesses to stop selling non-compliant appliances, be it paraffin driven or electrical, and to make them aware that it is a violation of the law for which they can be criminally prosecuted if they persist with these sales.

“Consumers have the right to receive goods that are reasonably suitable for their manufactured purpose, that are in good working order, and are free from defects,” Mohamed said.

Ronell Koopman, a victim of a fire, described how life became difficult after losing all your possession in a fire, especially when there are children involved.

She urged the community to take precautions and learn as much as they can about the dangers of illegal paraffin stoves and other goods so that they could protect themselves against the fires.

The campaign was in partnership with the NCC, the NRCS, the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) and the Sol Plaatje Local Municipality.

According to the DTI, the campaign follows on a winter safety campaign which kick-started in June 2015.

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