Raid exposes expired food sold by Somali nationals

Food confiscated when stores in Ndevana and Ilitha were raided. PICTURE: Let Us Find Them-NPC

After Somali nationals’ stores were raided, Ndevana and Illitha came to a stop. This initiative was a collaboration between Let Us Find Them-NPC, the Department of Community Safety, Buffalo City Municipality, and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

Let Us Find Them-NPC claims that this raid is in response to a number of reports about child labour and the sale of expired food in Ndevana and Ilitha. A minimum of 11 stores were raided; ten people have been arrested; and three received R2500 fines apiece.

Food confiscated when stores in Ndevana and Ilitha were raided. PICTURE: Let Us Find Them-NPC

The Department of Home Affairs (Emigrations), Buffalo City Municipal Health Services, South African Police Service (SAPS), and the Department of Labour were among the other parties participating in the raid.

According to Lonwabo Yiliwe, CEO of Let Us Find Them-NPC, they were there to guarantee that shopkeepers complied with the Labour Relations Act and to examine if they were compliant with regard to paperwork.

The stakeholders involved in the store raids. PICTURE: Let Us Find Them-NPC

The Buffalo City Municipality conducted raids last year under the name of “Operation Spaza Comply.” Stores in communities including North End, Quigney, Bhongweni, Santa, Orange Groove, Greenfields, Nompumelelo, Amalinda Forest, and Southernwood have also been visited by them.

The operation was successful in seizing expired food as well as other violations that resulted in closures, arrests, and the issuance of notices or fines.

The raids examine license requirements, environmental and hygienic standards, health and safety compliance, tax compliance, and emigration status. The area with the highest non-compliance rate thus far is Quigney. With nine stores closing for a variety of reasons, 20 receiving compliance notifications, 16 being found to be illegal structures, and 13 being unregistered stores.