Free State SANCO urges communities to refrain from buying contaminated food in foreign-owned shops

The recent deaths of two toddlers in Vredefort in the Fezile Dabi District, Free State have sent shocking waves across the country in the wake of contaminated food that is claiming lives.

While the cause of death for the two children aged three and four years is yet to be revealed, the Fezile Dabi community allege the kids died after consuming snacks from a foreign-owned spaza shop.

According to police spokesperson in the District, captain Loraine Earle, police have launched an investigation after the two children were certified dead at the Multi-Purpose Centre in Mokwallo in Vredefort on Sunday, 15 October 2023.

In light of this tragedy, SANCO YOUTH DESK Lejweleputswa calls on the government to pay special attention to community safety. As the youth desk points out, this is a strong indication that may force the government to intervene and protect the economy from external infiltration.

They believe that township economy should be designated an economic key zone and that measures and systems must be in place to protect them from external intrusion.

“A further request is made to the government to prohibit foreign nationals from owning spaza shops, bottle stores and tarvens, salons, taxi businesses, hospitality businesses, domestic and gardening services, as well as muthi vendors and cell phone repair shops,” said Shima Mahlatsi, SANCO’s Provincial Spokesperson.

Their belief is that this would protect our communities from such occurrences and enable the government
to regulate those industries appropriately.

While SANCO Free State is intervening, it urges all Free Staters to follow these guidelines:

  • Do not buy any items from foreign owed tuck shops
  • Only purchase good from trusted outlets or shops
  • Only buy items that have been tested and marked
  • Only use licensed, insured, and bonded contractors
  • Avoid buying products and packaging with typos and misspellings
  • Avoid giving kids money not knowing what are they going to use it for  

One Voting District – One Tuck Shop

According to Mahlatsi, the Free State Provincial Government led by Premier Mxolisi Dukwana should work to build working relationships between South Africans, government, private sector and law enforcement agencies in order to bring order from community reactions. 

“In the Free State, the government should implement a system that excludes foreigners and allow only citizens to own tuck shops.

“Free Staters should be funded by the government to start a tuck shop in each VD of the Free State through the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Municipalities and the private sector. 

A government-owned wholesaler would deal with household products, cigarettes, and liquor products. It would grow the economy in the Free State and reduce white collar crime that has claimed many lives,” Mahlatsi said.

Mahlatsi through SANCO, said as a means of eradicating these types of crime, the South African government should
implement measures such as track and trace technology, enforcement regimes, and harsh measures. “South Africans should be assured that foreign-owned businesses will be addressed with swiftness, as they should be treated as a deadly pandemic.”

Protest actions against foreign Nationals – 1 town, 1 march protest

Through its role as the voice of the people throughout the province, SANCO convenes meetings with various foreign national associations and agencies.

Their regions and branches will also develop programs to correct these wrongs in their areas. They encourage
each town to participate in these protests.

According to SANCO There are some law enforcement officials across the province protecting these foreign nationals and allegedly benefitting from the bribes paid so they can participate in these marches.

“It is alleged that officers are turning a blind eye to section 41 of the Immigration Act so that foreign nationals can benefit from them. SANCO is aware that these officials might make it difficult for the marches to not take place and they call on these alleged corrupt personnel to refrain from testing the revolution and the people of Free State,” SANCO said in a statement.

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