Crackdown on Randfontein spaza shops after deaths, community outrage

Various stakeholders embarked on a joint-operation to rid traders in Toekomsrus of items not safe for consumption.

The Myburgh Foundation Community Safety Unit in partnership with the police and environmental health practitioners hit the streets in Toekomsrus, Randfontein, yesterday to target spaza shops selling expired goods.

Gauteng Safety Wardens, the Randfontein traffic police, the District MMC for Health, and even members of The Department of Social Development were also involved in the operation.

“We managed to confiscate damaged products, expired consumables, and items that have been repackaged without proper food handling processes. It was also to bring to the shop owners’ attention the importance of ensuring our community buys goods fit for consumption,” says foundation founder and operations manager Randy Christian.

This polony had to be discarded as it had expired. Photo: Supplied.

Christian adds that various notices were given to non-compliant shop owners by the relevant authorities to ensure compliance moving forward.

“We would like to also thank our community who fights the good fight behind the scenes and are looking forward to a strong and fruitful partnership in aid our the communities we serve.”

The operation comes in light of the recent uproar concerning expired and contaminated goods reported on social media and the deaths of at least three children.

Beverages found to have expired. Photo: Supplied.

Earlier this month, two children – aged two and three – died while two others had to be admitted to hospital following an incident of food poisoning. This was after they consumed sweets and chips from a vendor at West Deep in Westonaria. The incident was confirmed by the Gauteng Department of Health.

Also on the West Rand, a Grade Three learner from a school in Tshepisong died after alleged food poisoning. Another learner had to receive medical attention. The Gauteng Department of Education confirmed the learners bought a packet of biscuits from a local spaza shop in the area after which they fell ill.

Also read: 89 Boipatong learners hospitalised after eating ‘looted’ snacks

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