Cape Town warns against fake ‘health officials’

Henry

The City of Cape Town is warning business owners to be wary of persons visiting their business premises posing as health officials in an attempt to defraud the business out of money.

Patricia van der Ross, mayoral committee member for community services, says these persons pretend that they can issue health-related approvals for a fee.

“The city once again draws the attention of the business community as well as the public to the fact that no officer may accept payments directly from customers. Any applications that do require payment must only be made at the city’s cash office or by means of an electronic fund transfer to the city’s bank account – details of which are available on the city’s website,” says Van der Ross.

“In addition, no employee of the city may request any rewards, gifts, favors or hospitality and may not generally accept any reward, gifts or favors.”

Van der Ross advises business owners to check the details of the “health workers” who visit their premises, especially if the individual concerned requests direct payment or another favor or reward of any kind for services rendered.

“We also urge business owners and staff to familiarize themselves with the relevant legislation and requirements to operate their businesses, as well as who the officials are at their nearest environmental health office. This will help reduce the risk of becoming a victim of scams. If in doubt, call the local environmental health office – it’s better to be safe than sorry.”

Shop owners are again reminded that all health officers employed by the city carry identity cards with their photo, job title and office location, as well as details of the various health-related legislation that the employee is officially empowered to enforce.

“Certificates of acceptance issued by the city are printed on paper with the city’s logo affixed on holographic foil, specifically to reduce the potential for the fraudulent issuance of this document.”

Business owners who are concerned that persons are fraudulently posing as health officers or that the documents issued to them may be fraudulent are requested to contact the city’s health service at Verify.COA@capetown.gov.za.

To get details of your local environmental health office, visit the city’s website at https://www.capetown.gov.za/Departments/City%20Health%20Department.