Of the 11,2 million South African children between the ages of 7 and 17 years, 577,000 were involved in child labour in 2015. Think that’s bad? Well, it’s actually good news as this figure is 779,000 down from stats in 2010.
According to StatsSA about 81,000 of the children involved in child labour appeared to be doing work prohibited by the Basic Conditions of Employment Act. Child labour is defined as work undertaken by children under the age of 18 years that is exploitative, hazardous or otherwise inappropriate for their age and detrimental to their development.
The majority of the children involved in child labour were between the ages of 16 and 17 years. Children in KwaZulu-Natal (10%) were more likely to be involved in child labour compared to those from other provinces. Northern Cape (1,2%) had the least number of children who involved in child labour.
Further good news is that an overwhelming majority (98,4%) of children between the ages of 7 and 17 years were attending school. The presence of parents in the household was important for children to attend school. StatsSA says in 2015 the proportion of children who did not attend school was higher among children with no parents alive (3,5%) and the lowest proportion of children not attending school was observed among children with both parents being household members (1,1%). Northern Cape and North West reported the highest proportions of children not attending school in 2015.
2,4 million of the 11,2 million children aged 7–17 years in South Africa were engaged in economic activities in 2015. Boys and girls aged 15–17 years were more likely to be involved in economic activities compared to those lower age groups.
In 2015, 34,2% of working children were exposed to at least one hazardous working condition. Boys (35,5%) were more likely to be exposed to hazardous conditions compared to girls (32, 9%).