Mayor closes shops selling expired or counterfeit goods

Ekurhuleni mayor leads a fight against fake foods.

Immigration officers have arrested 27 undocumented illegal immigrants during a City of Ekurhuleni joint operation to inspect spaza shops for counterfeit and expired goods from August 27 to 31.

City of Ekurhuleni spokesperson Themba Gadebe said the joint operation, which included Home Affairs, SAPS and City of Ekurhuleni, led to the additional arrest and detention of five shop owners for contravening the Immigration Act by employing undocumented foreign immigrants.

Some shop owners sleep next to the food they sell to customers.

“Thirteen shops were thoroughly inspected. Twelve were issued with notices of intended prosecution for failure to produce a certificate of acceptability. All 12 shops were closed immediately.

“Some of the health hazard items included meat packages that did not indicate a sell-by date, illicit cigarettes, expired and rotten food, unlabelled frozen mixed vegetables, among others,” said Gadebe.

Addressing the community, mayor Mzwandile Masina said: “We are not here to perpetuate wrong things. We attended to shops owned by both South Africans and non-South African citizens.

“We are not here to victimise foreign nationals but we will not tolerate individuals who are not prepared to adhere to the laws of the country.

Food for sale is kept in the room where the owner of one spaza shop sleeps.

“We have come to appreciate that this is bigger than we have thought, and it requires a sustainable programme, which we will soon announce.

“It is disturbing that out of the 13 shops inspected, we filled, to capacity, three eight-ton trucks with the confiscated material,” Masina said, adding the city will continue inspection across Ekurhuleni.

Gadebe said the mayor instructed members of his mayoral committee to continue leading similar operations until those responsible find it uncomfortable to sell fake and expired food in Ekurhuleni.

This baby food was manufactured on 12/04/2015 and stated best for use before 31/10/2016 but it was still sold to consumers.

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