Cabinet condemns child labour

Friday, September 15, 2017

Cabinet has commended the recent incidents of child labour, where minors were found working on farms in the North West and Free State.

This follows the discovery by authorities of 23 underage children, who were taken from North West villages to Free State farms to work as seasonal farmworkers.

The children, who worked on Wesselsbron farms, were saved by the Department of Labour authorities, with the help of the Department of Social Development. They lived in squalid conditions and were not paid the minimum wage. The children have been taken to a place of safety while a case of child labour has been opened against a farmer.

In a statement on Thursday, Cabinet said child labour is unacceptable abuse and exploitation of vulnerable children.

“Our children are the future of the country. Cabinet condemns all forms of child labour and calls on all South Africans to remain vigilant at all times and report those violating the principles of our Constitution.”

Cabinet commended members of the public who alerted the Department of Labour which, together with the Department of Social Development, acted swiftly to deal with the matter.

“Cabinet is pleased that the affected children have been relocated to places of safety. The Department of Labour will intensify inspections and work together with law enforcement agencies to bring perpetrators to book,” cabinet said.

The South African Schools Act, 1996 (Act 84 of 1996), together with the Children’s Act, 2005 (Act 38 of 2005), clearly directs that all children between the ages of seven and 15 are compelled to attend school.

According to the law, parents and guardians should ensure that learners of this age group are registered and attend school regularly or face implications of not abiding.

Cab wars

Meanwhile, Cabinet has condemned acts of violence, including the torching of operators’ vehicles and intimidation, between meter taxi operators and the e-hailing partners, which took place in Sandton, Johannesburg.

Violence flared between Uber and meter taxi drivers following the burning of two vehicles belonging to Uber drivers. Uber drivers retaliated by burning down one of the meter taxi vehicles. They also went in search of other meter taxi drivers in the nearby hotels.

A similar incident of torching cars was also witnessed in Hatfield.

Cabinet said these developments detract from the country’s concerted efforts to create a climate of free trade and fair competition.

Cabinet has called on law enforcement agencies to deal with perpetrators of violence and intimidation within the confines of the Constitution. -

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