“OUR ACTIONS ARE OUR FUTURE
As In Commemorating the Provincial World Food Day, on the 23rd October 2018, in Mahikeng, Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality in partnership with Department of Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development and the Department of Health sent a warning to Food Transporters and Out-lets in the Mahikeng Area on Non-Compliance during a Food Safety Campaign, under the theme #Our Action are our Future
North West Province in working together to deliver quality services to our communities, all Districts has established District Food Safety Committees to deal with matters pertaining to food safety and the committee is constituted by stakeholders such as the district municipalities (MHS), READ (Veterinary Public Health), Health and SAPS (Stock Theft).
Joined by SARS Customs, Provincial and Mahikeng Local Traffic, Consumer Affairs and Home Affairs, the commemoration started at 06h00 with road blocks at the three entrance areas of Mahikeng which are N18 Mahikeng – Setlagole Road ; R49 Mahikeng – Zeerust Road; R503 Mahikeng – Setlagole Road, whereby fifty-three (53) vehicles transporting foods as well as pharmaceuticals and oil where stopped. During the road blocks various fines ranging from R 500.00 to R 6 000.00 where issued to nine 9 vehicle due to various non-compliance.
The campaign proceeded to the Mahikeng Taxi Rank and surrounding food outlets as well as nearby villages to inspect food premises on compliance as per Regulations No. 962 of 23 November 2012, on the governing of general hygiene requirements for food premises and the transportation of food, made in terms of the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act No. 54 of 1972 as amended.
Regulations dictates that: if an inspector (Environmental Health Practitioner EHP) following an inspection of food premises or a facility, is of the opinion:
- That such food premises or facility:
- Are or is in such a condition or used in such a manner; or
- Do or does not comply with this regulation to the extent.
Then the inspector is empowered in terms of 4.2 (C) of the Regulations to issue or serve the owner or the person in charge with a written order to prohibit the activity of food handling activities on the premises.
Based on the powers and authority as outlined above, ten (10) premises were inspected of which a number of contaminated items inclusive of meat where confiscated. Ms Motlagae Ditlopo, an Environmental Health Practitioner (EHP) highlighted challenges such as lack of cleanliness; poor housekeeping practices; Rodent infestation; Smoking in food premises; Old and worn out utensils and equipment are serious violation and non-compliance of the regulation Governing General Hygiene Requirements for Food Premises including the Transportation of food and related matters , therefore warrant prohibition orders be issued to shop owners..
Cllr Priscilla Kwanaite, MMC for Community Safety in Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality pronounced that: “World Food Day (WFD) was declared by the United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture (FAO) at the organization’s General Conference in November 1945. Annually over 150 countries commemorate and celebrate the day on the October 16, in order to raise awareness on food security and food safety around the globe and tackle hunger challenges”
In support of the efforts and coordinated work done by stakeholders, NMMDM Council Speaker, Cllr Yoliswa Sechoaro applauded the team and provided a mandate that the campaign be extended to Community Members in rural villages. “It is important to educate our communities especially at rural villages that the law requires that food that are sold for human consumption must be properly packaged and stored in a clean environment, therefore the campaign has to continue at least every quarter to cover our villages in the District”, she said.
In her closing remarks, Cllr Gosiame Seatlholo, who is member of the Portfolio Committee on Community Service and Kgosi herself, highlighted the significance of educating our Traditional Leaders on the food safety and hygiene, “Go botlhokwa gore Magosi a rona a itse botlhokwa jwa go tlhatlhoba dijo, bogolo segolo kwa di-phitlhong, gonne dikgomo di rekwa fela ntle le go tlhatlhobiwa” as she close the campaign on a high note of the work done by stakeholders. “Kgetsi ya Tsie e a tshwaraganelwa”, she emphasised.
For the year 2018, the declared commemoration’s theme is “Our Actions are our future” “#Zero Hunger by 2030 is possible”