GSA to clamp down on illegal cable dealers
The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) has begun a nationwide enforcement exercise to rid the market of substandard electrical cables either imported or manufactured in the country under dubious means.
This follows GSA’s routine market surveillance exercises that showed an alarming increase in the proportion of substandard cables on the market.
The exercise, which would involve officials of the GSA and the Ghana Police Service, is expected to get illegal cable manufacturers and importers arrested and their illegal operations halted.
While the influx of illegal cable on the market poses a risk of domestic and industrial fires when used to wire buildings, their availability on the market is destroying the fortunes of certified local manufacturers of cables.
Substandard cables also lead to losses to our electricity supplying companies the Electricity Company of Ghana Limited (ECG) and the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo) and affect the country economically.
In 2017, the authority undertook market surveillance that involved testing cables for quality and standards.
Of the 22 brands that were sampled for laboratory testing, only two, which were manufactured locally, passed the critical safety requirement test for conductor resistance.
All locally manufactured cables at the time passed all tests.
The cables were manufactured by Tropical Cable and Conductors Limited, Reroy Cables and Nexans Kablemetal Limited, all in Tema.
At the time, the GSA began to educate the public on authentic cables by publishing the names of cable brands that had met critical test requirements.
Even though the GSA still publishes the list of approved cables on its website, the public still patronises unapproved cables because they tend to be cheap.
The Director-General of the GSA, Professor Alex Dodoo, told the Daily Graphic in an interview that the authority had information on some local manufacturers whose products were not certified by the GSA.
As such, the GSA cannot attest to the safety of these products and has, therefore, cautioned the public against patronising these products.
Already, the GSA has confiscated locally produced cables which are not certified in addition to impounding all imported cables that do not meet national standards.
To protect consumers and to highlight the dangers posed by illegal cables, the GSA will be holding a stakeholders meeting next week to highlight the scale of the problem and to bring all manufacturers and importers into compliance.
“The GSA will, however, press the stiffest applicable sanctions to all non-complying manufacturers and importers in line with the Ghana Standards Authority Act, Act 1078 of 2022,” Prof. Dodoo added.
In the meantime, the GSA is advising all consumers to visit the GSA website (www.gsa.gov.gh) and search for the list of approved electrical cables before making any purchases.