Maputo — The Mozambican government's National Inspectorate of Economic Activities (INAE) closed down 12 establishments across the country in the fortnight from 28 August to 8 September.
Addressing a Maputo press conference on Monday, INAE spokesperson Virginia Muianga, said nine of the establishments were closed temporarily, and three definitively. Inspectors had found that they were either failing to observe basic rules of hygiene, or were operating illegally.
The establishments closed were a slaughterhouse, a bakery, a factory making popcorn, and another making toilet paper in Maputo; three guest houses and a barber's shop, in the southern province of Inhambane; an ice-cream parlour in the central province of Manica, and two petrol stations and one general shop in Nampula, in the north. At the petrol stations eight pumps were found that were delivering less fuel than clients had paid for.
Muianga said this was the largest number of establishments shut down in a single fortnight in recent months, which showed that, despite the enormous publicity the INAE inspections have generated, there are still businesses which refuse to clean up their act.
"Most of the places we closed down have critical or extremely serious problems of hygiene", she said. "What is happening on the ground is that the business people are not complying with the obligatory minimum requirements, and so INAE ends up closing the establishments".
Muianga believed that many of the problems can be traced back to failings in licensing the companies. "The minimum requirements necessary for licensing these businesses were not observed", she said. "When INAE undertakes its activities and detects these failings, it closes the establishments. The major problem is that the inspection during the licensing allows situations to pass which it should have stopped".
Muianga said that, during the fortnight, a total of 415 establishments were inspected. These included restaurants and bars in the Maputo international Trade Fair (FACIM). Muianga said the situation at this year's FACIM was better than in previous years.