A fire broke out in the early hours of yesterday morning (Thursday, 2nd of December) and completely engulfed the Makuramah Meat and Eat supermarket. The business, which is owned by foreign nationals, is situated behind Boxer and opposite the bus rank at Tzaneng Mall.

It is not certain at this stage how the fire started, but it is speculated that one of the bread ovens could have caused a short and set the area alight. An employee at the scene alleged that the shop had no fire extinguishers and that this is the reason the fire spread out of control.

Because there are no regular inspections conducted by the GTM’s health inspectors, many buildings in the CBD are not operating in accordance with the Operational Health and Safety (OHS) Act. This is a major part of the reason there have been so many fires in the CBD in the last two years.

The owners of the building could not be reached for comment at the time of going to print and neither could the shopkeepers. We do know that an investigation into the exact cause of the fire has been launched and we understand that there were no injuries in the blaze. We have sent an inquiry to the GTM regarding the inspection schedule of their health inspectors.

***Note: It appears to me that the so-called laws of the land here in Limpopo only apply to the selected majority. There are many shop owners in town who spend most of their revenue attempting to comply to the laws regarding health and safety or risk the department closing their doors. This, whilst outside their business, on the pavement, a street vendor operates without OHSA compliance, without COVID measures, without even basic hygiene – and without fear of persecution. When was the last time an inspector from the municipality came around and asked to see the dates on your fire extinguishers? When was the last time a hawker was threatened with closure because he or she did not have a sanitizer station for clients at their table? We are fooling ourselves if we believe this to be a free and fair market. This is segregation on a grand, and uber corrupt scale.

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