Thursday, December 7

Counterfeit Foods Scandal Continues and Diabetes Still at Large


Counterfeit foods lead to food poisoning for 120 students

Government needs to enforce regulation

Diabetes could rival Aids

ActionSA is pressing the police to intervene after recent reports of an alleged food poisoning outbreak that has affected the well-being of 120 learners from two neighbouring schools in Komani (formerly Queenstown) the Eastern Cape.1 This comes after the tragic Enyobani Tavern incident from 2022, where twenty-one young lives were lost, and parents are still awaiting a final autopsy report from the SAPS Forensics and the Eastern Cape Health Department.2 The Party’s Eastern Cape Provincial chairperson, Athol Trollip said in a statement “it is disheartening to witness another episode of potential harm to innocent children, and it underscores the importance of safeguarding the health and safety of our youth.3 Our thoughts and prayers go out to the affected students and their families, and we hope for their swift recovery.4 (Richest)     

Trollip went on to say the situation in Komani highlights the need for a swift and thorough investigation to ascertain the cause of this alleged food poisoning outbreak.5 “The health and well-being of our children are paramount, and we must ensure that the root cause of this incident is identified to prevent future occurrences.6 This incident also underscores the pressing need to address inadequate health and safety protocols and regulations, particularly concerning informal Spaza Shops, which are crucial for safeguarding our community,” he said.7 Trollip a former Democratic Alliance (DA) member commended the efforts of Action SA President Herman Mashaba, who has been a vocal advocate for addressing issues related to Spaza shops allegedly selling expired or counterfeit goods. “Mr. Mashaba’s tireless work in highlighting the dangers of such practice is noteworthy.”8  


Rasulullah ﷺ said, ” Whoever relieves a believer’s distress of the distressful aspects of this world, Allah will rescue him from a difficulty of the difficulties of the Hereafter.”

“He has consistently warned of the potential health risks, even during his time as Mayor of Johannesburg, where city health inspectors forewarned of a looming health catastrophe,” he said.9 (Richest)

The department of Health both in Pretoria and at provincial levels need to introduce stricter regulations and legislation concerning the selling and purchasing of foods from these “spaza shops”. Watchdog institutions need to be set up to monitor the buying and selling of goods from these shops, those who sell counterfeit goods or make other violations should have their licenses taken away. This already happening in the Tshwane Municipality (Pretoria) which is DA run. Why don’t the African National Congress (ANC) local councils follow suit? This could evolve into a national crisis if it is not tackled swiftly. The opposition parties like Action SA are commendable for bringing this matter to public attention, but they can’t sort it out alone. President Cyril Ramaphosa and his government have their role to play in enforcing the law and restricting the selling and buying goods.  

A major problem with selling expired goods, that if consumed they cause food poisoning. The state in terms of all its actors and institutions need to enforce restrictions on the selling of these goods. Civil society also has its role to play with preventing the selling of these good through posters and educating the masses. Another issue is Diabetes which is caused by a growth in inactivity and obesity.

In fact type 2 Diabetes include being overweight, physically inactive, insulin resistant, and genetic factors, but medical practitioners said it was preventable and could be delayed with achievable lifestyle changes even if one was at high risk.10 “Losing a small amount of weight and getting more physically attractive, eating right and, more importantly, being aware of risk factors, can lead to healthier lifestyles among the many who end up with their quality of life compromised as a result,” the Centre for Disease Control said.11 Across the planet, an estimated 39 % of adults are overweight, while 13% struggle with obesity, and in South Africa the situation is not much better, as at least one in nine are affected by diabetes.12 (IOL)

“The country has the second-highest number of people living with type 2 diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa; and high blood pressure (or hypertension) is twice as likely to affect a person with diabetes than someone without it,” the Centre for Disease Control said.13 (IOL)

There is already a move in place to cut down on sugar. But the key is education, education for both children and parents alike about the dangers of products high in sugar. Honey would be a useful alternative for a sweetener in foods that are treats. Promoting exercise in schools and amongst the young should be the priority of the health and education departments. Promoting warning on cereal boxes aimed at children, and taking away the child friendly mascots and toys in cereals is still a work in progress. President Cyril Ramaphosa needs to hasten its enforcement, if he really wants to curb the rise in a diabetic pandemic which rivals aids. The reality is that the state under the Ramaphosa administration needs to step up its game.

The country needs a plan to put an end to the consumption of counterfeit goods and the overconsumption of sugar products. The risk of protecting children who suffer from low esteem due to obesity during puberty have numerous health problems come adulthood. Diabetes above all is a disease that affects the heart, blood and kidneys. Its all a matter of enforcing the right laws.





ActionSA calls for intervention after food poisoning of 120 learners

Despite these warnings, ActionSA claims the national government has been slow in responding to this pressing issue. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9


40mon MSN

Diabetes is costing SA

The causes of Type 2 diabetes include being overweight, physically inactive, insulin resistant, and genetic factors, but …10 11 12 13

Article written by: Yacoob Cassim

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