Beware of fraudulent licences, permits

The City of Johannesburg (CoJ) warns the public against people who are posing as environmental health practitioners.

Mr Nkosinathi Nkabinde, from the CoJ, said people are posing as environmental health practitioners and issuing fraudulent business licenses, permits and Certificate of Acceptability (COA) to the business owners and charging them for these services. The issuing of the Certificate of Acceptability is free of charge.

“For business licenses and permits there are stipulated tariffs, in accordance with the Business Act. The only costs involved and payable are those that have been approved by the council in terms of its fees and tariffs structure. Health permits are issued in accordance with the public health bylaws. No rewards must be made for services rendered as that might be considered as a bribe. A criminal case will be opened at the SAPS against any client and official for acts of fraud and corruption,” said Mr Nkabinde.

Environmental health and business license officers are involved in compliance monitoring of premises such as those requiring licensing in terms of the Business Act.

The following services are regarded as municipal health services in terms of the National Health Act, 61 of 2003:

  •  Food control and waste management.
  •  Health surveillance of premises and surveillance and prevention of communicable diseases.
  •  Vector control and environmental pollution control (these services form an integral part of business licensing and have to be evaluated before a license is issued).
  •  Disposal of the dead and chemical safety.

Anyone wanting to lodge an application for an opposite license has to do so at the regional environmental health office.

The business license officer, designated staff member or business license assistant has to advise the applicant of the following:

  •  Legislative provisions and processes that are to be followed.
  •  The council’s policy.
  •  The applicable application fees as determined by the council annually and where to pay the application fee. No environmental health practitioner is allowed to accept any payment.
  •  The proof of payment must be returned to the environmental health offices.

“The CoJ health department will continue to take measures within its available resources to improve the quality of life of our people and will endeavour to progressively improve the service delivery,” said Mr Nkabinde.

For more information on any environmental health issues, call 011 407-6494/6545.

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