‘O Kae Molao’ campaign kicks in
To combat the selling of illegal and fake goods, the Gauteng Provincial Government will from 18 September 2018 embark on unannounced visits to a number of spaza shops across the province. “We will be kick-starting our ‘O Kae Molao’ [where is the law] campaign to wipe out the selling of illegal and fake goods or products in all spaza shops across the province. We will be embarking on unannounced visits to a number of spaza across the length and breadth of the province,” said the spokesperson for the MEC of Economic Development, Castro Ngobese.
The spot checks follow a spate of attacks and looting of businesses owned by foreign nationals in Soweto and elsewhere in the province in August.
“A number of shops owned by foreign nationals were targeted and looted by some unruly elements in some parts of Soweto and in other areas. This saw a number of our people taking the law into their own hands.
“These goods and products will no longer have space or market in our townships. We are putting a stop from now onwards, working closely with all relevant enforcement agencies and entities tasked with the responsibility to vet or monitor such goods,” said Ngobese.
A team from the provincial government has already been dispatched to monitor and intervene where necessary.
MEANWHILE; 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.
Through operation BuyaMthetho - a team comprising of JMPD, Environmental Health Practitioners and officials from other departments dealing with bylaw enforcement, the City has been conducting raids in food outlets as part of its mandate to safeguard the health of residents.
MMC Phalatse said it was important to allow law enforcement agencies to conduct the raids so as to not compromise the rights of lawful traders. However, the City does recognize the role of civil society in blowing the whistle on those traders who are selling expired goods.
She said she understood the frustration from communities, who bear the brunt of unscrupulous traders, but calls for calm, following an outbreak of violence in some parts of the City related to trading in expired food items.
“We will be embarking on a City-wide awareness campaign to sensitize residents on what steps to take when confronted with stale food in grocery outlets.
“The fatalities in Soweto are evidence of what can happen when communities take the law into their own hands. I would like to urge residents to please work through official channels to expose these offenders,” said Phalatse.
Phalatse called on all stakeholders including Customs, Revenue Services and the Consumer Council to assist in clamping down these illegal operations.