South Africa’s employment and labor minister appears to believe that the country’s problems are caused by employers of foreigners in low-skilled jobs such as domestic work or the hospitality industry, and should instead hire local labour. He proposes stiff penalties, including a percentage of turnover as a fine, and added that legislation to achieve these goals – the Employment Services Amendment Bill – is close to being introduced in Parliament. “We have to act very hard,” he said, “or other people will hold us accountable.” Who could these “other people” be, I wonder? This article is republished courtesy of the Daily Friend. – Sandra Lawrence

Nxesi vows to punish employers for hiring foreigners

Staff writer

There should be stiff penalties for employers who continue to hire foreigners to do low-skilled work when there are South Africans to do it, according to Employment and Labor Minister Thulas Nxesi.

According to a report in Business Times, he said: “We need to be tough on the employers who employ these people. One of the things I want to propose is tougher penalties for employers who use foreign labor when you have local labor, especially low-skilled labor. They are the ones creating this problem.”

As a penalty, he offered a percentage of the turnover. “We have to go very hard,” he said, adding that this is a problem especially in agriculture, domestic work and hospitality, which do not require special skills. Employers were looking for cheap workers.

He added that legislation to achieve these goals – the Employment Services Amendment Bill – is nearing its introduction to Parliament.

The minister said: “Our document is at the stage where there have been comments and we are bringing those comments together with the amendments we have made. As soon as we finish it, I suspect that in October or November, we will throw it to the parliament. We’ve had almost 6,000 comments and we have to take every comment into consideration or other people will hold us accountable.”

The minister has previously expressed the need to be “tough” on employers who are not making sufficient progress on demographic representativeness.

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