As South Africa marked the end of Youth Month on Thursday, concerns have been raised about children working on farms.
Deputy Minister of Social Development Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu says children in the Ratlou Local Municipality in North West Province, are being forced to work because of high unemployment and substance abuse.
“Children as young as 10 years, who are supposed to be in school, are not in school. They are working on the farms,” she said Thursday.
A member of the Ratlou community, who did not want to be identified, says many children in the area are forced to work to support their families.
Meanwhile, the Department of Labour says it will initiate plans to tackle child labour in the area.
Deputy Minister of Labour Phatekile Holomisa said: “We are going into the farms to find out exactly whether indeed it is the case that children are being used as workers.”
According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), sub-Saharan Africa has the largest proportion of child labourers; with more than one in four children aged five to 14 working.
Children are protected from exploitation by the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Source: Nam News Network