SA going back to slave conditions, says Nxesi on employment of foreign nationals

SA going back to slave conditions, says Nxesi on employment of foreign nationals

Labour and Employment Minister Thulas Nxesi has slammed the private sector for its preference for foreign nationals. 

Thulas Nxesi
Pic Courtesy: GCIS

Nxesi was speaking at the launch of the Commission for Employment Equity on Thursday morning.

He says the practice seeks to exploit foreign nationals, who in many instances are economic refugees. 

"There are serious issues that we must talk about, when the commissioner was talking about the stats of foreign nationals who are going to 4%. This is a serious matter. I want to relate this to something else; we are going to back to slave conditions in this country.

"The reason why people prefer foreigners is because they know that they are desperate. They will take anything and undermine the collective bargaining. They will distort the labour market. 

"They will take R10 even though the agreement says R50. So, they want cheap labour because they know that these people are desperate because they are economic refugees." 

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Nxesi also warned companies that government will target those who do not comply with the country's labour laws. 

"I think that one of the things commissioners have to deal with, not just in your area, but it is to strengthen our enforcement. This means when we are changing the law as we have started, we must impose heavy fines. 

"So that it is exemplary to the others who are thinking of doing it. It's a trend now with the Chinese people watching this space, watch this space."

The hiring of foreign nationals in the country's labour market has been a contentious issue, especially in the trucking industry.


Last week, truck drivers brought the N3 to a standstill in yet another protest. 

They were protesting over the hiring of foreign nationals in the country without the proper procedure. 


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