20 arrested in raid on market in downtown Pretoria

Marabastad in Pretoria. Google© Streetview, Google Maps, taken 2017, accessed 2022.

Marabastad in Pretoria. Google© Streetview, Google Maps, taken 2017, accessed 2022.
  • Twenty people have been arrested in Pretoria for contravening immigration laws.
  • The authorities, including officials from the labour and home affairs departments, raided the Marabastad market in a joint operation on Monday.
  • The market will remain closed until traders and owners of the stalls comply with the labour and immigration laws.

Officials have arrested 20 people for contravening immigration laws and employing undocumented foreign nationals in a raid on a market in Marabastad in downtown Pretoria.

The National Roving Team (NRT), established in 2021, along with the departments of labour and home affairs as well as law enforcement officers raided the market on Monday.

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The raid was carried out in response to criminal activities and to assess compliance with labour and immigration laws.

Similar operations have been carried out in the Eastern Cape, Western Cape and Mpumalanga.

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Labour department spokesperson Teboho Thejane said the Marabastad market was closed after inspectors found it to be non-compliant.

Thejane said:

The Tshwane fruit and vegetable market in Marabastad was served with a prohibition notice. In terms of an inspector’s report, the market has been shut down because conditions threaten, or are likely to threaten, the health and/or safety of persons in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act of 1993.

Traders would not be allowed to trade until the market was compliant.

“Traders at the market have been prohibited from using the building due to lack of firefighting equipment at strategic locations, operating in a premises with open electrical wires, [and] non-compliance with [the] electrical installation [requirements], which poses a risk of electrocution and fire,” said Thejane.

Advocate Fikiswa Bede from the Department of Labour expressed concern about traders disregarding labour and other laws.

“It is either people here are ignorant of the law, or they are just carrying on with their business without regard for the consequences,” Bede said.