The South African All Brothers Product and System Certification (SABPS) is going after a company accused of selling non-compliant cement to unsuspecting customers.
Last year, regulator SABPS and the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) declared Rainbow Power Cement non-compliant and ruled they should cease selling and production. The company was found not to have met industry standards.
The NRCS withdrew their letter of authority and confiscated thousands of bags while urging hardware stores to stop the selling their products immediately.
Customers were told to return the cement to the stores.
Despite the order, the Krugersdorp-based company allegedly continued with business as usual.
SABPS chief executive Frank Makamo said the certification company notified Rainbow Power accordingly; however, the company continued to use the certification on their products.
“We then instructed our lawyer to write to them to stop using our name on their products,” he said.
Makamo said the company opened a case at the Kagiso police station on February 25.
SAPS provincial spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo confirmed that a case was opened and police were still investigating.
In an affidavit to the police, a customer who asked to remain anonymous said they went to the company’s offices to buy 20 bags of cement and were helped by a woman called Susan.
“She asked me where I was from. I told her I was from Katlehong and my uncle referred me to them. She sold the 20 bags to me and gave me a little handwritten receipt.”
The customer said the packaging of the cement bags they bought still had the NRCS letter of authority number and SABPS certification..
Makamo said the implication of Rainbow Power Cement still selling their cement was huge, especially for poor communities.
“Rainbow Power Cement is selling cement that is not meeting standards, and in this case we discovered that their cement was very weak.
“People are buying the cement and they are building houses using the cement. It is highly possible that the houses built would collapse at some point and may kill people,” he said.
Rainbow Power Cement’s Susan van der Walt said the company sold products that didn’t need the SABPS’s approval and that the other products the company bought and resold did not need approval as they bought and resold it.
“We know that the other cement companies don’t want us in the market. We will be investigating the allegation,” she said.
NRSC spokesperson Daniel Ramarumo said the company remained non-compliant and the NRCS continued to intensify sanctions through its legal unit.
“Criminal charges are being pursued against the company.”