Plans to shut down in excess of 40 spaza shops currently operating without the relevant certificates are underway. This follows Capricorn District Municipality’s (CDM) Operation Hlasela which cracked down on such outlets in the city and surrounds last Thursday.
Information made available by municipal spokesperson Moffat Senyatsi revealed that 45 outlets were investigated on the day and unsound foodstuffs were found and disposed of as waste while 30 illegal immigrants were arrested. The operation was launched by CDM Executive Mayor John Mpe earlier and conducted by law enforcement agencies, health inspectors and officials from the Department of Home Affairs.
In Seshego 20 shops were investigated and expired foods found in 19. Eight illegal foreign nationals were arrested. According to Senyatsi plans were underway to close all 20 shops because they did not have operating certificates. In the city centre, 15 shops were searched, 22 illegal immigrants arrested, seven other persons arrested for possession of dagga and a 9 mm firearm found. These 15 shops are also at risk of being shut down for, among others, not being in possession of certificates to operate.
The ten shops searched in Mankweng were found without certificates and unsound foodstuffs found were condemned to waste. These included sugar, soft drinks and cooking oil, Senyatsi explained, adding that these outlets are among those to be closed.
During the launch of the operation, Mpe said: “We must make it clear that we are not targeting foreign-owned shops on the basis of their nationalities in order to perpetuate any stereotype or victimisation of foreign nationals. We are going to attend to any store owned by anyone.”
In cases where a shop owner or worker is in the country illegally, Home Affairs immigration officials and Police will arrest them for contravening the Immigration Act, he indicated.
Story: ENDY SENYATSI