Cape Town - The illegal trading of grapes along the N1 highway in De Doorns has become a growing concern for law enforcers, the Western Cape police said on Thursday.

Police have experienced an increase in reports of robberies which had been taking place in the area, said Captain Frederick Van Wyk.

“Most reports were from motorists who intended to stop and buy these grapes from informal traders who operate next to the highway,” said Van Wyk.

The highway in the Hex River Valley, between Worcester and Touws River, was identified as a hot-spot for this trade.

Van Wyk said grape trading was illegal and warned that it was posing a health risk, as some of the grapes were not of standard.

Several arrests of traders, and of motorists who ignored visible road signs indicating a non-stopping zone, had been made.

“We urge motorists not to buy these grapes but to rather buy from legal farms stalls or shops in the area,” said Van Wyk.

Police and traffic department officials were conducting operations to prevent such occurrences.

Traders and motorists found guilty of such practices would risk facing a jail term or paying a fine. - Sapa