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COSATU Today  |  COSATU Press Statements

COSATU Northern Cape perturbed by a reported incident of child labour in Kimberley

8 December 2015

The Congress of South African Trade Unions in the Northern Cape has learned with shock and anger about the untimely demise of a 12 year old Michael Witbooi, who was run over by a bakkie at the farm Dronsfield near Kimberley.

We are told that this incident happened on Wednesday, 02 December 2015 while the young boy was at work.

What is more saddening is to learn that the owner of this farm has been doing this for a long time. He allegedly uses child labour in an attempt to avoid employing workers who will demand salaries.

We are told that he drives to Roodepan everyday and park his car just across the railway line where he loads children between seven and sixteen years without the permission of their parents. It is alleged that after a day's work they get paid between R20 and R50 depending on their ages.

When we visited the family we learned that he has never made contact with them but instead he left for Bloemfontein where he is currently.

We are also disappointed that the Department of Labour has failed to pick this thing up while it is happening under their nose. We have also learned on our visit there that there has never been closure of operations in that farm for proper investigation after this fatal accident.

We have approached the police to call for the arrest of this farmer for child labour and we call on the Department of Labour to close that farm until the allegations of child labour are cleared.

It is our considered view that this farmer must be made to pay dearly for wasting the future of African children through child labour and the murder of a 12 year old young boy.

We will not rest until this matter has been dealt with in a manner that seeks to send a clear message to other farmers that might be doing the same.

Issued by COSATU Northern Cape

For more information contact:
Anele Gxoyiya
COSATU Northern Cape Provincial Secretary
Cell: 082 829 1961