Bloemfontein – Bogus job agencies are trafficking Lesotho women into the Free State, Social Development MEC Sisi Ntombela said on Tuesday.
The plight came to light in August when the Lesotho government and South African government held a symposium where issues, including the trafficking of Lesotho women, were raised.
According to Ntombela, young girls were brought into the country under false pretenses to be used as sex workers and underpaid domestic workers.
The MEC said this ahead of an impending human trafficking campaign next week.
"Human trafficking is seriously happening and we want to put a stop to it," Ntombela told News24.
She, however, could not reveal which job agencies had been responsible for human trafficking, but added that various hot spots had been identified in Bloemfontein and other areas.
She said her department had established a committee which would educate women about human trafficking.
"We have heard of many cases from women who have approached us and told us about their experiences and how they ended up in the country.
"They come to South Africa thinking that they are here for jobs, and fall into the trap of ending up being sex workers or domestic workers."
Ntombela said the women had complained about being mistreated and underpaid.
"Some of them have laid charges, while some of them refused to lay charges.
"We have also tried to assist these women, but we found that most of them have come to the country illegally and they don’t have papers – we have at least sent some of them back to Lesotho," she said.