Other / Employment / Africa / People
Chinese national arrested for exploitation of minor children
15 Nov 2019 - by Staff reporter
A law-enforcement raid on a Chinese factory in Village Deep, Johannesburg has uncovered a trafficking ring that brings in illegal immigrants and subjects them to forced labour.
The employer at Beautiful City, which manufactures the inner cotton of blankets using recycled clothing, has been arrested and the workers taken to a place of safety.
Last Tuesday’s raid was a joint effort by the Department of Employment and Labour’s Inspection and Enforcement Services (IES) in Gauteng together with the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the Hawks, Some of the children were, alleged to be around the age of 15. A total of 150 employees were found on the premises, with 149 of them being illegal foreigners.
The department said that the employer was violating a suite of labour legislation ranging from the National Minimum Wage, Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act and Basic Conditions of Employment Act. According to the department, the employer was also found to be in flouting South Africa’s immigration legislation, by-laws, health regulations and engaging in child labour.
It is believed that the business, which hired mostly Malawian citizens, operated behind closed gates which kept the workers locked in the factory day and night. Inspectors also found that the National Minimum Wage (NMW) Act had not been observed, with estimated underpayments of about R6.3 million for the past 10 months. Employees were found to be working under appalling conditions and were paid R65.00 per day.