A Pick n Pay outlet, seven stores owned by foreign nationals and a butchery were closed by Gauteng MEC Faith Mazibuko for contravening the law.
The Pick n Pay outlet, situated at Evaton Mall, was found selling rotten meat and expired food items.
Mazibuko, who was accompanied by health inspectors, raided the store after being lured into the shop by a foul stench.
Inside the shop, Mazibuko headed to the butchery where rotten meat was found as well as blood on the store’s floor.
Upon seeing her inside the shop, workers attempted to clean the floor but the stench continued unabated.
Mazibuko and her team later inspected items inside the store and found a lot of expired food items on the shelves.
She initially closed the butchery section only, but after finding expired food items she changed her tune and ordered the entire store to be closed.
Before closing the store, Mazibuko showed management and employees of the store the recovered expired items and rotten meat.
The store is currently closed until it complies with the law.
Meanwhile, at the nearby Mandela Square shopping centre in Sebokeng, Mazibuko and her entourage closed eight shops owned by foreign nationals, including the United Meat and Chicken butchery owned by a local businessman.
Five people, including four foreign nationals and an employee of the shopping centre, were arrested for alleged fraud after their shops were found operating with fake documents.
The suspects, including a pregnant Ethiopian national, confessed to Mazibuko that they had obtained their fake documents from a man who worked in the mall for R1,200 for each document.
The man also confessed he had bought the fake documents from a friend and later sold them to foreign shopkeepers.
The fake documents had a letterhead from the Emfuleni Local Municipality.
Mazibuko said the suspects were expected to appear in court on charges of fraud.
“We have closed almost every shop here at Mandela Square shopping centre except for two stores. These shops are operating illegally without proper documents, which is against the law.
“Inside United Meat and Chicken butchery workers were working without PPE. We found meat kept in an unhygienic cold room. Inside the cold room, meat was not properly packaged. Their meat didn’t have expiry dates and dates depicting when they were packaged,” said Mazibuko.
She warned consumers who bought meat to verify it because every product had a shelf life.
“If you see meat inside a shop without an expiry date, it means you don’t know when it was brought to the store and when it was packaged. People must be cautious and not buy wrong things that will make them sick tomorrow.
“They have a right not to buy such products and also to report shop owners who sell expired and rotten food items. We want people to obey the law and respect the regulations,” said Mazibuko.