Bulawayo City Council (BCC) is mulling hiking fines for illegal tuck shop operators who sell cooked food in order to safeguard the health of the residents.
This is contained in the latest council minutes, where the city fathers raised concern about the widespread unregistered food outlets and tuckshops in the city.
The local authority noted that to deal with the challenge, there was need to implement policies and enforce by-laws effectively to deter people from doing as they please.
The health committee chairperson, Councillor Sinikiwe Mutanda, said there were a lot of tuck shops in residential areas and some of them sold food items which could harm residents and inspections should be carried out while relevant laws and by-laws enforced.
“Cllr Felix Mhaka was concerned about a local Bakery which was erecting Kiosk containers in the city. He wanted to know if these containers were registered and licensed?” the minutes read.
“Cllr Sikhululekile Moyo confirmed that from Nketa Drive up to Ntemba road along Pumula/Hyde Park road more than 15 kiosk containers had been erected. What was Council’s plan with regard to unregistered Food outlets? Councillor Joyce Ndlovu was also concerned about Proton Bakery delivering bread to illegal vendors in the City.”
The Acting Director of Health Services explained that council had not registered or licensed any Kiosk containers.
“The only containers permitted in the city were the Coca-Cola type of Kiosk containers. Council was condemning the delivery of bread door-to-door to illegal vendors. At the end of 2022 Proton Company management was engaged but the deliveries continued. ZRP was engaged and offenders were fined. Council’s level of fines needs to be reviewed so that deterrent fines could be charged,” the minutes read.
“The courts were not eager to deal much with Public Health offences. Resources permitting Council would effectively enforce Public Health By-Laws. Registration of premises renewals were done after inspections. Food handlers were required to have a Food handlers’ certificate. Most of the food premises were at their best condition toward inspections. Regular inspections would continue to be done.”
The Chamber Secretary, Sikhangele Zhou, explained that by–law enforcement was being done, citing that in the month of December 2022, various bakery trucks were arrested in the city delivering bread to illegal vendors.
The Town Clerk advised that Council was also facing challenges with LP Gas distributors who sold LP Gas at undesignated areas.