Pretoria - A foul smell permeating a room used as a space for a spaza shop, bedroom, and kitchen greeted Tshwane Metro Police Department (TMPD) officers on Tuesday during a by-law operation in Pretoria North.
Tshwane mayor Cilliers Brink, who led the operation together with Community Safety MMC Grandi Theunissen, condemned the unhygienic conditions in which spaza shops run by a foreign national were also used for sleeping and storing some of the products sold to people.
He said the purpose of the swoop by metro police was to make sure that business owners were operating in keeping with the municipal by-laws.
A team of TMPD officers descended on Daan De Wet Street and Nel Drive in Pretoria North to check if people were in possession of valid business licences and adhering to by-laws.
Brink said the operation also checked if “folks have facilities to cook food and to provide food to communities that is safe – a very important preoccupation of by-law enforcement”.
He said some goods were confiscated from business outlets found to have flouted the municipal by-laws to demonstrate that public safety and law and order were important.
During the operation, a foreign national spaza shop owner in Theresa Park was found to be plying trade inside a room doubling as a bedroom and kitchen. The room was packed with a bed, blankets, clothes hanging from a rail, a table with a two-plate electric stove and some items sold in the tuck shop, such as soft drinks.
The team accompanying Brink, however, complained about the bad odour concentrated in the room.
“Under this circumstance, it is not right, but we are definitely closing this one,” said metro Superintendent Marageni.
Another spaza shop in Winternest was shut down for several violations.