Forum raids tuck shops to seize expired goods

“The health inspectors understand and leave us alone.”

This was allegedly said by a foreign tuck shop owner when a group of fed up community members entered his shop during the recent Operation Clean-Up in Kuruman.

The project is led by community members who call themselves the Dikwakwentla Forum for Service Delivery.

Since Friday (17/08), they have been raiding tuck shops to remove expired and fake goods from shelves.

Refusing to sit back and watch as owners sell expired food to residents, the members are also working at involving relevant stakeholders and registering their organisation.

They believe the tuck shop owners are placing residents’ health at risk by selling them expired products.

According to the spokesperson of the forum, Mary Tongwane, they burned the products after confiscating them.

They were driven to action after they heard that a factory allegedly manufacturing, packaging and distri­buting counterfeit household goods in Harts­water was shut down by police in July.

The community refuse to become statistics

Several videos of unlawful practices of manufacturing throughout the country have lately been going viral on social media.

This follows the hospitalisation of three children from Kagung and Maruping who allegedly collapsed after eating unidentified snacks bought at tuck shops.

The forum aims to target all shops in the surrounding villages promise to be targeted following residents’ and shop owners welcoming their intervention.

According to Tongwane, they will also be targeting the root of the problem – wholesalers that supply hundreds of thousands of goods.

“We received tip-offs about whole­salers with loads of expired goods waiting to be distributed.

“If the Department of Health does not step in, this will not be a smooth process.

“The regulations that need to be followed take forever, and corrupt officials benefit from bribes. They do not have the people’s best interest at heart. We will fight for the people, and we are not afraid of being arrested,” Tongwane said.

“During the operation we came across some expired, rusted packages of goods that expired in 2017, while some will expire in 2019. The owners are also in possession of date stamps.”