Labour Migration

Dear South Africa

335 comments individually delivered to government by 28 May 2022

The Minister of Employment and Labour called for comment on the Draft National Labour Migration Policy & Employment Services Amendment Bill

    • The proposed amendments to the Employment Services Act aim to limit the extent to which employers can employ foreign nationals in possession of a valid work visa. It also codifies the obligations of an employer engaging foreign workers to, among other things:
    • only employ foreign nationals entitled to work in terms of the Immigration Act, the Refugees Act or any other provision;
    • ascertain the foreign national is entitled to work in the republic in the relevant position;
    • satisfy themselves that there are no South Africans with the requisite skills to fill the vacancy;
    • prepare a skills transfer plan, where appropriate;
      employ foreign nationals on the same terms as local workers; and
    • retain copies of relevant documentation.
      The amendment bill proposes a framework that will enable the minister to set quotas for employment of foreigners. A quota may apply in respect of a sector of the economy, an occupational category or a geographical area.

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    Dear South Africa


    Nxesi said the proposed National Labour Migration Policy aims to achieve a balance across four areas:

    Jobs: The first is to address South Africans’ expectations regarding access to work opportunities, given worsening unemployment and the perception that foreign nationals are distorting labour market access, said Nxesi. “The NLMP, together with proposed legislation, will introduce quotas on the total number of documented foreign nationals with work visas that can be employed in major economic sectors such as Agriculture, Hospitality and Tourism, Construction etc.”

    Small business: The NLMP will be complemented by Small Business intervention and enforcement of a list of sectors where foreign nationals cannot be allocated business visas and amendments to the Small Business Act to limit foreign nationals establishing SMMEs and trading in some sectors of the economy.

    Borders: The Department of Home Affairs is also reviewing current legislation and strengthening the Border Management Authority to secure porous borders and to allow for the orderly movement of people and other nationals through ports of entry only.

    Inspections: Nxesi said his department, together with all relevant authorities, will step up inspections to enforce existing labour and immigration legislation.