PRETORIA - Companies which cashed in on the lockdown PPE free-for-all might find themselves in hot water, even if they secured tenders lawfully.
The SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) is working with the Special Investigating Unit to probe and charge companies that sold personal protective equipment without the required licences.
Companies which had never bought or sold surgical masks before quickly became mass suppliers of them during the national lockdown.
If a mask is intended to be used in a medical or healthcare environment or it makes medical claims -- such as filtering viruses -- it is considered a medical device.
Manufacturers and distributors of such masks must be registered to ensure the claims made by the product are correct.
One investigator with SAHPRA said five companies are criminally charged so far.
Companies or individuals found guilty of contravening the law face hefty fines and even jail time.
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