Restaurant owners along Louis Botha Avenue are questioning the City of Johannesburg health and safety by-laws and even claim they are not favourable to their businesses.
They are complaining about non-compliant stands selling food without any health certificates and say they put their legitimate businesses at risk.
Restaurant owners pay a huge amount of rent to lease their shops while those selling outside are cashing in without even paying a cent.
According to one owner who wishes to remain anonymous to avoid being targeted, the majority of legitimate restaurant owners pay about R7 000 monthly rent.
They now say they want the City, through the Metro police, to enforce its by-laws and ensure proper industry competition.
“You find people selling food on a pavement without any shelter and they have no proper permit but nothing is done about that,” said one business owner.
“How come there are no health inspectors to regularly monitor these businesses to ensure that they adhere to proper business ethics? Some of them even sell food in front of shoe repairers or mechanics but nothing is done about it.”
It’s time now that the City send inspectors to ensure the safety standards and the by-laws are adhered to accordingly for the safety of the customers.
“We are really tired. This is the reason most legitimate businesses around Orange Grove and Norwood and any other areas are closing down because they are not making any money due to these illegitimate businesses,” said an aggrieved restaurant owner.
Efforts to get a comment from the City of Johannesburg’s health department were unsuccessful with the spokesperson not being available.
In her response, Ward 73 councillor Eleanor Huggett said at the Community Policing Forum annual general meeting held recently, various members of departments run by province promised to clean up Louis Botha Avenue.
Huggett said they are still waiting for this to happen but added that in the meanwhile, as a councillor she is doing her best to assist residents and business owners by reporting by-law infringements to the Metro police.
“However, often joint action is needed with the Saps which also falls under province but this seems to be a great challenge and many of the illegal businesses flourish without being bothered by the law.”
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