South Africa’s Hawks in the in KwaZulu-Natal has once again rescued about 72 victims of human trafficking who were brought into the country on Friday.
The victims, according to Hawks authorities, were illegally brought into the country from Swaziland and Lesotho on Friday for labour exploitation in a factory in Newcastle.
This comes at the time the minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba plans to ensure that companies comply with the requirement to employ a minimum of 60% South African citizens.
This follows concerns raised about companies, including PPC Cement, which are allegedly employing more immigrants than is permitted by current legislation.
South Africa has been labelled a haven of sex slavery and child trafficking following statistical data which revealed that South Africa could have as many as 100 000 young girls working in underground sex dens as sex slaves.
In one last year’s parliamentary questions set by DA western Cape Spokesperson on Community Development, Lorraine Botha, the concerns were raised on measures to take in tackling the modern Human slavery which has now become a norm in the country.
The report, which takes a broad look at human trafficking, including on the sub-continent, contains a slew of evidence of labour trafficking taking place in South Africa – with both foreign and local victims. It suggested that people from various countries in the world were often moved to South Africa with children as young as 9 years old prostituting as a result of this illicit trade.
It also emerged that most of the trafficked sex slaves are mainly from poor regions in Southern Africa. They are often lured into the country with the promise of a better life and employment.
In May 2013, parliament passed the Prevention and Combatting of Trafficking in Persons Act (PACOTIP), which was signed by President Zuma in July 2013. To this, the DA encouraged the Zuma-led government to fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.
The new South Africa’s Human Trafficking amendments allow for clients to be prosecuted with a penalty of 20 years.
Meanwhile, The Hawks’ Simphiwe Mhlongo says five people linked to the Human trafficking report, have been arrested
“They were in the country illegally. They do not have work permits and they also found that they were not being paid accordingly. The Department of Labour is playing a role in terms of dealing with that issue.
Here are signs you should look out for when you suspect human trafficking is taking place:
- Evidence of being controlled
- Evidence of inability to move or leave job
- Bruises or other signs of physical abuse
- Fear or depression
- Does not want to talk – aggressive aggressive
- Wants to get back home asap
- Not speaking on own behalf and/or non and/or non-English speaking English speaking
- No passport or other forms of No passport or other forms of identification or documentation identification or documentation
- Is hungry Is hungry-malnourished or malnourished or inappropriately dressed (based inappropriately dressed (based on weather conditions or on weather conditions or surroundings)