'Why did Tiger Brands fail to protect public safety and health?'

The South African Communist Party (SACP) has criticized Tiger Brands for for failing to protect its consumers against products contaminated with listeria.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi announced last week that the source of the bacteria had been linked to the Enterprise factories in Limpopo and Germiston, as well as a Rainbow Chicken production facility in Sasolburg.

Families of the 180 people who died from the outbreak are being urged to join a class action suit against Tiger Brands.

The SACP more system measures are urgently required to safeguard public health and safety.

The primary responsibility is with the producer. Some of these companies make and have more money than those municipalities that are required to carry out inspections on their production facilities, such as Tiger Brand.

Alex Mashilo, SACP Spokesperson

Think about a situation where such a monopoly with billions of rand accumulated from production, has to be inspected by the Capricorn municipality. Think about the amount of money in the hands of that municipality compared to the amount of money in the hands of Tiger Brands and why Tiger Brands failed to protect public safety and health.

Alex Mashilo, SACP Spokesperson

These powers of inspections are in the first instance in the wrong hands. Municipalities focus on service delivery, they have a limited budget and at the end of the day some of them don't systematically have the capacity to perform the functions expected of them.

Alex Mashilo, SACP Spokesperson

Speaking on the affected families, Director & Editor at Bhekisisa Mail & Guardian’s Health Journalism Centre, Mia Malan says communities need a public health system that is quick to respond to such crises.

If you just look at the recent Life Esidimeni situation, NGOs got away because they operated within a system that allowed them to, where there were no checks and balances.

Mia Malan, Director & Editor at Bhekisisa Mail & Guardian’s Health Journalism Centre

We do need some powers to go back to the National Health Department.

Mia Malan, Director & Editor at Bhekisisa Mail & Guardian’s Health Journalism Centre

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