Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi says that the owner of the plastic factory in Alberton, Ekurhuleni, where 51 illegal migrants were rescued from slave-like conditions, is still at large.
Acting on information provided by a whistle-blower, the Home Affairs inspectorate visited the factory and was refused entry, prompting the officials to return in a joint law enforcement operation including police, the Department of Employment and Labour, Ekurhuleni Metro Police and private security officials, which then led to the arrest of the factory manager.
The 51 illegal migrants were from Malawi, Zimbabwe and China.
Motsoaledi says some employers are to blame for the problem of illegal workers.
“It’s clear that the issue of illegality is encouraged by some employers. This is not because they’re feeling pity for the illegal migrants, but because they’re using them, they are distorting the labour market. So, one of the things we are going to do, is to concentrate on employers who break the law. Even the issue of the trucks in Ethekwini, some complaints there you can realise that the problem was caused by employers, who simply want cheap labour.”
Video: Group of South Africans march against businesses employing illegal immigrants in Rosettenville