Byline: Kelebogile Masemola

23 August 2022

On Monday, 08 August 2022, the office of the ActionSA MMC for Economic Development and Spatial Planning in the multiparty coalition government in Tshwane, Cllr Andre le Roux was notified of the notice served to the Marabastad Retail Market by the National Department of Employment and Labour due to non-compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety legislation and regulations. 

After the conclusion of due process, Marabastad Retail Market will reopen and resume its regular operations from Tuesday, 23 August 2022.

The fruit and vegetable market was forcefully shut down after it was found to be “dirty, unhealthy and hazardous” by the Department of Employment and Labour.

The department also shut doors to the Oriental Retail Complex and other nearby shops, trading in “muti”, among other items due to failure to comply with occupational health and safety regulations.

The department served the market in Marabastad with a prohibition notice that halts the owners from using the building.

The department said the site lacks fire fighting equipment at strategic locations, operating with open electrical wires and non-compliance with the electrical installation which pose risks of electrocution and fire.

Departmental spokesperson Teboho Thejane said the inspectors shut down the market in a joint operation after more than 20 people were also arrested for being illegal immigrants and/or employing illegal immigrants.

“Dozens of traders and illegal immigrants ran for cover as a joint multi-departmental inspection blitz descended at downtown Marabastad in an operation that led to the closure of the market,” said Thejane.

“Employers who obstructed the inspectors from conducting their duties were arrested.

It is illegal for an employer to interfere with the inspector when on duty.”

The operation was led by the department, assisted by the police and the Department of Home Affairs immigration unit.

“Marabastad Retail Market is a source of economic activity, employment and a convenient supply point for the broader community of Tshwane, and its closure has been a major inconvenience to the community and revenue loss to the traders.

I am therefore grateful to the teams involved, who have ensured that the matter was resolved post haste and commit the department to ensure that such closure does not occur going forward,” said Cllr le Roux.