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Confiscated brake pads, shoes, and linings wait to be destroyed. Picture: SUPPLIED
Confiscated brake pads, shoes, and linings wait to be destroyed. Picture: SUPPLIED

About R80m worth of illicit products, including brake pads and other automotive items, have been destroyed by the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS).

Other illegal automotive products that were destroyed included brake shoes, headlamps, globes, foam tyre cleaners and infant car seats, ensuring they never reach consumers.

The NRCS is an agency of the department of trade, industry & competition and was established in 2008. NRCS approval ensures products and imported goods in SA meet required specifications.

The “destruction day” event took place in front of guests at the Midrand offices of the NRCS on February 4 and was broadcast on Facebook. Phambili Services co-ordinated the destruction processes, which included crushing with a baler, hammering, cutting, chemical processing, dumping into landfill sites and, where possible, recycling.

“We are pleased to see progress and for the first time  in many years; a public display of nonconforming product destruction,” said Vishal Premlall, Regulatory Compliance Manager at the Retail Motor Industry (RMI), at the event.

“Now we need a database of the conforming products as a starting reference for the consumer because the continued trade in inferior products impacts the safety of road users,” he said.

Premlall said that collaboration between the RMI and the Automotive Friction Material Industry to regulate brake friction materials has been ongoing over an extended period, but often with frustrating results.

“The project seemed to lack momentum by the regulatory and compliance bodies despite the fact that the growth of brands of friction material over the past two decades has been exponential.”

He said the market is flooded with cheap, low-quality products, which made it important for regulatory bodies and the private sector to work together.

The RMI will partner efforts with all relevant stakeholders to rid the industry of unscrupulous traders, and ensure that products entering the automotive market are safe and of acceptable manufacturing standards, he added.

Motorists can avoid buying unsafe motoring products by dealing with reputable suppliers such as those who are members of the RMI and offer avenues for recourse, he said.

“Also, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is,” he concluded.

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