Child Labour still rife in SA-Oliphant
19 Jul 2012
Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant has released results of the Survey on the Activities of Young People (SAYP) which showed shocking levels of injuries among children in the workplace over the past 12 months as well as absenteeism from school.
The minister was delivering a keynote address during the national day against child labour in Tzaneen, Limpopo, on Thursday. The meeting, attended by stakeholders from business, organised labour and civil society organisations, took place under the theme: Let me be a child.
“The study found that a total of 121 000 children were engaged in market economic activities in 2010. Amongst the worrying findings were that a total of 90 000 children reported having been injured in the past 12 months while doing an economic work activity.
“Overall, 4 392 000 children over 40% of those attending school-were reported to have been absent on five or more days since the beginning of the school year. Of those who were absent for five days or mor3e, 59 000 gave as the main reason for their most recent absence a work .related reason if work is broadly defined to include helping at work with household tasks, and looking after their own children and other household members,” she said.
The study, tilted Child Labour and other work related activities in South Africa, also said among children engaged in market economic work, 47% of those attending school had missed five or days, while among those engaged in non-market economic work, this was the case for 50% of those attending schools.
The Minister said South Africa will abide by the International Labour organisation’s request for the country to lead the campaign to bring neighbouring countries on board to comply with attempts to eradicate the worst forms of child labour.
ILO Pretoria office Director, Vic van Vuuren, said 215 million children world- wide were subjected to child labour and it was time for governments, trade unions, civil society groups and business to cooperate to end the scourge.
Norman Mabasa, MEC for Health and Social Development, said they receive children as their client, especially when they are involved in drug and alcohol abuse. “If you have a farm and you employ a child you are like a man with a gun shooting people,” he said.
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Issued by: Department of Labour
19 Jul 2012
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