Communications warns public to use social media responsibly

Public warned to use Social Media in a responsible manner

The Ministry of Communications has noted with great concern the proliferation on various social media platforms, an image of a minor who is alleged to have contracted a mouth disease after consuming “counterfeit” or illicit perishables goods procured from stores owned by foreign nationals. Circulating the image is not only discriminatory but affects the dignity of the minor.

We call upon all citizens to be responsible internet users. The internet has the potential to be used for great good but can also cause terrible harm. 

“It is in your hands.  People can limit the harm by vetting the content they want to share. Sharing unverified and unauthenticated information can have real consequences for the sanctity of our nation and its democratic values” said the Deputy Minister of Communications, Ms Pinky Kekana.

What is more disconcerting is that the image comes at a time where citizens have taken issue with the quality of perishable goods sold mainly in the townships and semi-urban areas and particularly of stores which are owned and or managed by foreign nationals.

A simple reverse image of the picture reveals that it is not a recent one and cannot be attributed to South Africa. In essence, it appears that there is a concerted effort to spread incorrect, harmful content in order to stoke xenophobic attitudes within our communities.

False information masquerading as news has the ability to divide our communities instead of assisting the very same communities to find solutions to concerns raised by consumers. To this end, communities can report any suspicious-looking food items or business selling expired food products to the National Consumer Commission at 0124287000 or by e-mailing

Chrispin Phiri
Cell: 081 781 2261

Media Statement date: 
Friday, September 7, 2018