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BCM continues crackdown on errant spaza shops

Supplied


Over 120 spaza shops were shut down since Buffalo City Metro’s 16-week-long joint operation raids began in February.

On Thursday, the multidisciplinary team, including Municipal Health Services, Home Affairs and South African Revenue Services, was in Nompumelelo in East London, where shops found breaking environmental health regulations were shut down.

BCM said the "Spaza Comply" operations aimed to ensure that shops were selling food compliant with health laws and of good quality while also protecting the environment and its people.

These raids took place in the wake of children falling ill across the province after eating snacks reportedly bought from spaza shops.

Since February, the team has confiscated goods, including unpasteurized amasi, unlabeled food products and illegal pesticides, all with an estimated value of R120 000. 

Over 130 spaza shops have been raided thus far, with 121 shut down.

Home Affairs’ Immigration Services is also assisting in apprehending undocumented foreign national spaza shop owners.

City spokesperson, Samkelo Ngenywa says the metro has vowed to arrest and criminally prosecute shop owners found selling illegal goods.

“Four shop owners have been successfully prosecuted, while over 100 others have been arrested - some for the contravention of bylaws while others, for the status verification of their citizenship.”

The raid continues on Friday.