City prioritises skills development in safe food processing

The City of Cape Town, in partnership with the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), hosted a successful workshop in Delft where participants came together to learn and share knowledge on the importance of safe food processing. The importance of informal trading and its contribution to Cape Town's economy was also in the spotlight. Read more below:

The workshop created the opportunity for small business owners to equip themselves with the necessary skills to prepare and process food in the informal sector in compliance with the relevant health and safety legislation and municipal by-laws. Best practice applications were also shared during the workshop.

According to Councillor Siyabulela Mamkeli, Mayoral Committee Member for Area Central, supporting skills transfer in the food industry and informal economy is one of the priorities in the City's Organisational Development and Transformation Plan that shows the City's commitment to economic inclusion and skills development in this high-growth sector.

Apart from a representative from CPUT who explained the importance of a clean workspace to process, prepare and cook food, City officials from various departments also attended the workshop. Law Enforcement representatives explained the by-laws and policies that regulate the industry and an environmental health practitioner from the City's Health Department discussed compliance with health and safety legislation in a fast-growing informal business sector.

Micro-enterprise businesses that trade in food items should comply with the National Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act 54 of 1972. The Act regulates general hygiene requirements for food premises, the transport of food and related matters.

Most of the participants were informal traders who play just as important a role as businesses in the formal economy. With the necessary skills and experience, informal traders should be able to develop their businesses and progress into the formal economy. Informal trading is about job creation, community pride, and skills development.

In addition to our other supportive interventions like informal trader round table discussions and small business information sessions, it's important that the City creates an enabling environment for food vendors to learn skills in proper food handling and to comply with health and safety legislation. The serious health risk associated with the listeriosis outbreak still applies and informal traders should ensure that food preparation is done in a way that ensures quality products,' said Councillor Mamkeli.

The process to develop an Informal Trading Plan for Delft set within the area's geographical boundaries is progressing well.

To date, the Informal Trading Department surveyed a total of 410 traders across Wards 13, 20, 24 and 106. The next step of this project will be the mapping of the informal trading bays in consultation with the relevant City departments. 'It remains our priority as the City of Cape Town to continuously take steps to create an enabling environment and open space for the informal economy to thrive,' added Councillor Mamkeli.

Source: City Of Cape Town