Authorities clampdown on illegal pesticides

The City of Cape Town calls on members of the public to blow the whistle on the sale of illegal pesticides.

During a raid in Khayelitsha, on Wednesday October 18, various quantities of highly toxic and illegal organophosphates were confiscated by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) who accompanied City Health officials and the City’s Law Enforcement Department.

The group targeted six hotspots including Makhaza Mall, Khayelitsha Station linkage to the Khayelitsha Mall, Site B Station, Nonqubela Link Interchange, Site C plaza and Harare Square.

The operation formed part of City Health’s ongoing public health awareness strategy aimed at mitigating the risk of poisoning incidents. Environmental Health staff engaged with members of the public throughout the raid by distributing pamphlets to bystanders and posters to shop owners explaining the purpose of the intervention and raising awareness of the dangers presented by the use of illegal pesticides.

The following products were confiscated:

* 715 packets of Green Leaf sachets

* 286 straws/sachets of Aldicarb (Two-Step)

* 74 packets of rodenticide

* 96 bottles of liquid pesticide

* 82 sticks of cockroach chalk

* 11 sachets of Power Force rat bait

* 32 packets of grain bait

* 11 sachets of rat killing powder

“Pesticides are dangerous substances that pose a grave risk if not properly handled. Every year there are a number of instances of children coming into contact with the poisons, in some cases leading to fatalities. Pets also fall pray and die of poison exposure.

“This was a very successful raid that targeted multiple locations simultaneously, thus preventing traders from tipping off others. It is apparent by the amount of illegal pesticides confiscated that this trade is very lucrative for the manufacturers. City Health will increase its efforts to have similar interventions on a more regular basis to promote public safety,” said Anda Ntsod, mayoral committee member for area east.

“While the City understands that pests like flies, roaches and rodents are difficult to manage, especially with the warmer weather fast approaching, illegal pesticides are not the solution. City Health provides rodent baiting services free of charge to poorer communities. In addition, proper waste management is key to reducing the presence of pests. I urge residents to approach their nearest Environmental Health office or clinic if they need assistance or advice.”