Errant spaza shops caught out in Ga-Rankuwa

Officials inspecting spaza shops. Picture: Jacques Naude / Independent Newspapers

Officials inspecting spaza shops. Picture: Jacques Naude / Independent Newspapers

Published May 20, 2024


Several spaza shops in Ga-Rankuwa were caught out this week for failing to comply with the City of Tshwane’s by-laws despite previous complaints by the community that they were operating illegally and selling expired foodstuff.

The non-compliant local businesses were exposed during the joint crime-fighting operation by the Tshwane Metro Police Department (TMPD), the SAPS and the City’s waste management officials.

TMPD spokesperson Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba said the purpose of the operation was to ensure that businesses adhere to municipal by-laws applicable to their enterprises.

In the past, the City has called for communities to report illegal activities related to the manufacturing, preparation, repackaging or selling of any food products.

Last year, the Ga-Rankuwa community was up in arms over illegal operations of spaza shops in the township and called for authorities to deport their owners and shut down the shops.

That was in the wake of the news that at least 22 learners from Tlotlo-Mpho Primary School in Ga-Rankuwa got sick after consuming snacks believed to have been supplied by a foreign national.

This week’s operation by the law-enforcement units cracked down on at least 17 shops that were non-compliant with the by-laws and sold expired food items.

Mahamba said the shops were inspected for business compliance and that expired food items were confiscated.

“A total of 27 notices for Section 56 were issued to individuals and business owners who were found in violation of city by-laws,” he said.

In a separate joint operation in Mabopane by the TMPD, SAPS and fire brigade, as well as health inspectors, expired foodstuff was confiscated from two businesses.

The operation was focused on food outlets.

“During the operation, one business was closed for not complying with the fire brigade by-laws,” Mahamba said.

Expired foodstuff was confiscated from two businesses, 12 Section 56 notices were issued and three notices affording businesses to rectify concerns over compliance with the by-laws were also issued.

Mahamba said another successful operation was conducted on the R80 Mabopane highway to check for driver and vehicle fitness.

“Apart from achieving visibility goals on the R80, several vehicles were checked and infringement fines were issued, ranging from driving with no licence to expired licence disks and no number plates. In this operation, 111 fines were issued amounting to R87 750. One vehicle was impounded,” he said.

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