With cookies scattered on a filthy floor and workers not wearing any PPE while engaged in baking without following health procedures, a bakery run by an illegal foreigner was forced to shut down on Thursday.
This was confirmed by Ekurhuleni EFF provincial chairperson and MMC for finance in the region, Nkululeko Dunga, who led a shutdown.
Dunga said he was dismayed to find the bakery run by an illegal foreigner having no permit to operate while grossly flouting regulations.
Dunga, who was in the company of law enforcement agencies, called on health officials to help shut the bakery down.
His visit comes just as South Africans continue to call for the government to close down all foreign-owned spaza shops found to be selling expired foods and poisonous snacks to children, resulting in the death of five children just under two weeks ago.
Most of the children were from Soweto, while two were from the West Rand, who died after buying snacks from a local taxi rank in West Deep in Westonaria, Gauteng.
“In our operation today we came across a biscuit bakery in Springs that is non compliant with all health regulations.
“Not only was the place extremely filthy, workers where mixing the dough on the floor with their bare hands and using their feet.
“The baked products where lying on the dirty floor ready to be packaged and distributed to shelves across the region. The factory was shut down and goods confiscated,” Dunga said on Thursday.
This operation on the East Rand, Springs, comes after “The Star” reported that competition between Pakistani businessmen and Bangladeshi businessmen in Johannesburg has led to two Pakistanis exposing a fake food production centre in Swaneville west of Johannesburg.
This fake goods factory located about 3km from Krugersdorp, behind Lodirile Secondary School, is a production hub of fake beans, packaged as Koo beans, fake cornflakes, spaghetti, noddles, cough syrup, fake cool drink such as Lemon Twist and Coca-Cola, milk, and Grand-Pa medication for headaches.
On social media, more and more reports of fake and expired foods allegedly sold by foreigners have been surfacing almost daily.
This flooding of spaza shops with fake and poison-laced foods in communities has sparked a new wave of protests with members of Operation Dudula and other movements having launched a series of closures of spaza shops run by foreign nationals in places such as Naledi, Phiri, Mndeni and other Soweto townships this past weekend.
On Friday, PowerFM reported that at least 25 foreign nationals operating spaza shops in Phiri, Soweto, were arrested following a crackdown led by Operation Dudula and law enforcement agencies in the area.
Community members came out in their numbers in support of this operation in Soweto.
Last week, leader of the African Transformation Movement, Vuyo Zungula, accused SA government of encouraging foreigners to do as they please in the country.
“The responsibility to ensure that poor and vulnerable people do not consume fake, poisonous food should be a priority for any people-centred government.
“Allowing the continuous, health-threatening usage of food not fit for human consumption is equivalent to biological warfare. The South African government has blood on its hands,” he said.
Last week, following the deaths of the five children, the Gauteng department of health said it will intensify its efforts to educate and bring about awareness on the importance of proper food handling and identification of poisonous foods.