The City of Joburg’s environmental health practitioners are working around the clock to raid formal and informal food outlets following complaints from the public about the sale of expired food items.
“The city has been conducting raids in food outlets as part of its mandate to safeguard the health of residents through operation BuyaMthetho,” said the office of the MMC for Health and Social Development Stakeholder manager Lesego Mathibela
MMC Mpho Phalatse said it is important to allow law enforcement agencies to conduct the raids so as to not compromise the rights of lawful traders.
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“However, the city does recognise the role of civil society in blowing the whistle on those traders who are selling expired goods,” she said.
Phalatse said she understands the frustration of communities, who have to bear the brunt of unscrupulous traders but calls for calm following an outbreak of violence in some parts of the city related to businesses that trade in expired food items.
“The city’s environmental health practitioners are working hard every day to inspect, monitor and issue fines to establishments that break the law. However, the scope of work and the number of outlets across the city remains a challenge.
“We will be embarking on a city-wide awareness campaign to sensitise residents on what steps to take when confronted with stale food in grocery outlets,” said Mathibela.
“I would like to urge residents to please work through official channels to expose these offenders. I am calling on all stakeholders including customs, revenue services and the consumer council, to assist in clamping down on these illegal operations,” said Phalatse.
“I am calling on the public to contact the city’s environmental health practitioners should they suspect illegal trading of expired food items.”
Contact Region F environmental practitioner Paballo Sekokotla on 011 681 8082 and 083 462 5031.