Globally, countries have put in place measures to stop further spread of COVID-19 through increased personal hygiene such as washing hands with soap and water and constant use of hand santisers. Please find below a press statement on the need to ensure to buy commodities such as liquid handwash, tissue and face masks from trusted sources.
Following concerns raised by members of the public concerning the recall of canned pilchards from stores, the Agency is working with all relevant local and regional institutions concerning the issue. One of the functions of the ZCSA is to collaborate with both national and regional bodies to ensure public health and safety, consumer and environmental protection. The Agency will continue to work with South African authorities over the matter. Below are statements from the NRCS in South Africa and the Ministry of Health in Botswana:
LUSAKA, January 7, 2020, The Zambia Compulsory Standards Agency (ZCSA) would like to dispel social media reports insinuating that it allowed cement produced by Dangote Industries Zambia Ltd that failed the requirements of the compulsory Zambian standard to be sold on the market.
Cement is one of the products subject to compulsory standards and it is against the law for any manufacturer to offer for sale cement which threatens public health, safety, consumers and the environment.
The Agency conducts inspections at Dangote Industries bi-annually and it did not conduct any inspection on its plant in the month of December 2019 or collect any samples for testing as purported in the media report.
The tests that are normally conducted on cement include Comprehensive Strength, Setting Time and Soundness. When tests are conducted on cement in accordance with the compulsory Zambian Standard for cement which is ZS EN 197, the Agency communicates the results directly to the client through the issuance of inspection reports. In the event that the product fails to meet the safety requirements of the standard, the Agency works with the client in ensuring that corrective and preventive actions are taken to correct the situation in the immediate, short and long term. Unsafe products are withdrawn from the market until the Agency is satisfied that the product is safe, following implementation of corrective action by the client.
In the case of cement, the Agency enforces Part 1 of the standard which looks at the composition, specifications and conformity criteria for common cements. A zero result cannot be obtained as it is not feasible.
From the last inspection and tests that were conducted on site in August 2019, the Agency did not find evidence of substandard cement produced at the plant. Further, samples were collected and sent to a laboratory in South Africa in the same month for full testing of the cement as per procedure and the results were within the requirements of the standard.
The Agency is mandated to ensure public health and safety and therefore, would not put the lives of Zambians at risk by allowing an unsafe product on the market.
Sub-standard cement can negatively affect the sustainability of buildings and structures which can lead to loss of life, injury to person and damage to property due to structure failure.
CAROLINE KALOMBE| Communications Officer
Cell: +260 977415655