By Staff Reporter
Makana Local Municipality led an inter-governmental operation on 5 April, joining forces with the South African Police Services and Hi-tec Security to confiscate expired food and crack down on health and safety hazards. This was the second such initiative following the previous confiscation drive on 14 December 2022.
Municipal spokesman Anele Mjekula said the Diamond Cash and Carry store in Beaufort Street was the first to be found guilty of stocking expired food, which can leave customers very ill if they consume it. At this store, “it was discovered that a large amount of the stock was expired. The shop was ordered to close immediately to ensure that the expired stock was removed”, said Mjekula.
The municipality also found gas and paraffin stored “in close proximity to electrical plugs”, which was extremely hazardous, he added.
Makhanda’s Five Star Supermarket had received a warning in the last operation and the municipality expected that it would not still be stocking expired food. “At first glance, it appeared that the store had made significant improvements from the last visit, however, all this changed when officials stepped into the store room at the back. Scores of expired goods were discovered stashed in the store room and had to be confiscated”, Mjekula said.
The municipality said many residents had pleaded with them to raid township-based stores for expired goods. Indeed, the police and security team found that the Maisha Supermarket in R Street stocked several expired items and also stored flammable equipment in a confined space – a fire hazard.
The well-known Jackie’s Supermarket and Butchery opposite Soccer City in Fingo Village did not escape scrutiny. Unfortunately, it was also found wanting. “Various expired goods were confiscated [from Jackie’s]. There, officials also found slaughtered and live animals in the butchery. The owners were ordered to produce proof of payment for the livestock found at the store, which they ultimately did”, said Mjekula.
Makana’s Executive Mayor, Yandiswa Vara, said the initiative would continue until all local businesses complied with the law and with health and safety legislation. “The operation will visit many more businesses until we are happy that all shops comply,” said Vara.