UA spokesperson for the department of Social Development, Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment of the Gauteng provincial government, where Johannesburg is located, said that South African police found the young Mozambicans during an inspection by the Department of Labor and Employment of the facilities of the factory, in the southeast of the South African economic capital.

The young people were then taken to the Mary Moodley Child and Youth Care Center in Benoni, east of Johannesburg, where they await repatriation to Mozambique, said spokesperson Themba Gadebe.

The South African authorities have opened a case of child labor, poor working conditions and employment of undocumented minors against the owner of the electricity supply company in Nigel, he highlighted.

According to the government spokesperson, the eight young Mozambicans entered South Africa on January 15 in a minibus taxi, along with 14 other boys from the same village in the neighboring Portuguese-speaking country.

“The taxi driver reportedly came from the same village and asked young people and families if they were interested in working in Johannesburg. He informed the recruits and their families that there was no need for passports or documents,” he highlighted.

A juvenile court in Nigel on Tuesday authorized Gauteng provincial authorities to proceed with the repatriation of young Mozambicans to their country of origin, and they will be handed over to social workers from the neighboring country at the Komatipoort post, in border with Ressano Garcia, on the Mozambique side, according to South African authorities.

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