Child labour being ignored - Cosatu

2011-08-05 14:17
Johannesburg - The government is not doing enough to curb child labour by punishing business owners who take advantage of the poor, Cosatu in the North West said on Friday.

Leaders did not have the capacity to deal with the problem or were simply unwilling to face the reality, particularly in the North West, Congress of SA Trade Unions provincial secretary Solly Phetoe said.

"The reality is that we have underage people working on farms. They should be in school. The provincial department of labour is not investigating any of this."

An underage farm worker, Molefe Mogale, 14, was working on a farm in Rustenburg when his hand was chopped off while operating a machine. He died in hospital a day later, on July 26, Phetoe said.

"So far only a case [of murder and child labour] is opened and nothing further is done. No arrest, no prosecution... because the case was opened by the farmer we were told that they will not charge him."

The provincial department of economic development was not immediately available to comment.

According to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act it is illegal to employ a child under the age of 15. Children under 18 may be employed, but cannot do dangerous work or work meant for an adult.

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