BCM shuts down 121 spaza shops selling illegal goods

Buffalo City Metro’s (BCM) ongoing 16-week-long joint operation raids, which began in February, have resulted in the shut down of over 120 spaza shops.

On Thursday, the multidisciplinary team, consisting of Municipal Health Services, Home Affairs, and the South African Revenue Services, conducted operations in Nompumelelo in East London. Shops that were found to be violating environmental health regulations were shut down.

BCM shuts down spaza shops

The “Spaza Comply” operations, as referred to by BCM, aim to ensure that spaza shops sell food that complies with health laws and maintains high quality while also protecting the environment and the community.

These raids followed incidents where children across the province fell ill after consuming snacks purchased from spaza shops.

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

Over 130 spaza shops have been raided so far, resulting in the closure of 121 shops.

Home Affairs’ Immigration Services is assisting in arresting illegal foreign national spaza shop owners.

City spokesperson Samkelo Ngenywa stated that the metro is committed to arresting and criminally prosecuting 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.


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