Non-complying businesses hit during compliance inspection

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BONUS - RUSTENBURG - The Department of Economy and Enterprise Development, in partnership with the South African Police Service (SAPS), the South Africa Revenue Services (SARS), Municipal Health Inspectors, the Fire Department, the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) and the Department of Home Affairs and Agriculture, conducted a joint operation recently.

The operation was conducted within the Rustenburg Central Business District (CBD) and was done as part of the World Consumer Rights Day.
“We have observed that some businesses are contravening various consumer legislation by selling contaminated meat products, as well as not properly labelled and repackaged foodstuffs. The main concern was the storing and keeping of meat products. Improper stock rotation and putting different types of exposed meat in the same container can lead to cross-contamination,” said the MEC for Finance, Economy and Enterprise Development, Wendy Matsemela.
In addition to that, 13 liquor outlets attached to businesses were visited. Three of these was found to have contravened Liquor Act 27 of 1989, as amended. One of the outlets was found to be selling liquor and foodstuff within the same premises. The outlet had a misleading disclaimer around expired goods - which is contrary to consumer legislation.
With regards to public safety, ten fines, amounting to R32 500, were issued for contravening the municipal fire and trading regulations by-laws. Eight spot fines, to a total of R20 000, were issued.
Goods and foodstuff amounting to R60 000 were removed and condemned as they were declared unsafe for human consumption. The goods were then destroyed at a dumping site.
In concluding Consumer Month, the MEC reiterated that one of the most critical rights of consumers, the right to choose, should always take precedent. The MEC emphasized that consumers have the right to make informed decisions whenever purchasing goods and also to ensure that the quality of goods is not compromised.
“As government, we will continue to work with all relevant regulators to ensure that businesses operate within the prescribed legislation,” concluded MEC Matsemela.