Cabinet concerned about food poisoning of children

Cabinet has raised concern on the spate of food poisoning of children from eating expired and contaminated foodstuff from spaza shops and street vendors.

This follows the recent death of children after allegedly consuming poisonous food items bought from spaza shops, which were reported in Gauteng and North West provinces.

“Cabinet is encouraged by the law enforcement efforts to enforce food safety compliance,” Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, said at a post Cabinet briefing on Monday.

Ntshavheni reported that during the recent International Migration Workshop, some of the key outcomes included the introduction of omnibus by-laws to address challenges relating to the enforcement of business by-laws by municipalities and traditional authorities.

The workshop was hosted by the Home Affairs Department and joined by the Departments of Small Business Development, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, and Human Settlements, as well as traditional leaders and mayors from metropolitans and district municipalities. It focused on curbing the effects of illegal immigration, including the operations of spaza shops.

“There will be immediate joint inspections of businesses, in particular spaza shops, by the Departments of Labour, Health, Small Business Development and Home Affairs immigration inspectorate teams to enforce compliance with applicable laws,” Ntshavheni said.

The workshop also decided that an audit of spaza shops in villages and townships, and mechanisms to register them by both traditional leaders and municipalities, will be undertaken.

The Minister said there are also efforts to support traditional authorities to keep a record of foreign nationals in their communities.

“Business licensing legislation is being amended to support all those who wish to trade in the informal sector.”

Police commended for dealing with international drug syndicates

Meanwhile, Cabinet has commended the South African Police Service (SAPS) for dealing a massive blow to international drug syndicates.

This follows the discovery of cocaine valued at R80 million, which was seized at a warehouse at Dube Trade Port, within the King Shaka International Airport, on 20 October 2023.

Two days prior to the seizure, another R70 million worth of cocaine was seized from a container at the Durban Harbour.

“Cabinet applauds the SAPS for their work in disrupting and dismantling transnational organised crime that poses a significant threat to our communities and the nation. Operation Safer Festive Season is already yielding results, with police arresting over 140 suspects, including an alleged illegal mining kingpin, and seizing unlicensed firearms,” Ntshavheni said.

Source: South African Government News Agency