South African court defends bog standards

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In a triumph for bog standards, the Pretoria High Court has wiped the floor with unscrupulous South African toilet paper manufacturers, it was reported on Thursday.

The court dismissed the case of two toilet paper manufacturers, Pick-Nick and Green Forest, which claimed the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) was undermining small businesses by enforcing rules on the length and quality of rolls.

Kenny Mathivha, an SABS spokesman, said the ruling was a breakthrough in international toilet-roll standards. A member of the International Standards Organisation, South Africa demands rolls contain at least 500 sheets of single-ply or 350 sheets of two-ply paper, and that packaging states whether the paper is soft or hard.

"The market was flooded with inferior paper in the run-up to the ruling on 28 September," said Mr Mathivha, whose organisation's 60 laboratories rule on everything from the fuel-emission standards of new cars to the weight of bread. The toilet paper investigation, which prompted the court action by the manufacturers, led to SABS staff spending hours counting the sheets on loo rolls. Mr Mathivha denied the SABS was being anal, saying it was important for South Africans.