South African Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has told Parliament that his department is hammering out a bill to set ‘quotas’ for the number of foreign workers who can be hired across various industries.
During an oral Q&A session in Parliament, Motsoaledi responded to questions presented by the IFP, as the party sought answers about an apparent lack of job availability for South Africans.
Motsoaledi confirmed that they will need to work closely with legal labour experts, and he’s wary that any legislation to cap the number of foreign workers in South Africa could stray onto ‘the wrong side of the Constitution’.
However, the end goal for Home Affairs would be to ensure that South Africans have ‘first access’ to any suitable roles available.
“We have already approached International Labour Organisation to help us. One of them is to help us provide a Bill that will provide quotas of the number of foreign nationals that can be hired by Industry.”
“We need a lot of advice because we have got a Constitution that is open to many things and we don’t want to be found on the wrong side of the Constitution. The Inter-Ministerial Committee reported to the cabinet committee on Trade and Industry because some of the issues will affect trade.”
South Africa has a dire unemployment rate, and the prospects of our youth finding work are even grimmer. Two-thirds of young adults meet the extended definition of being ‘jobless’ in Mzansi, and the problem has been exacerbated by tensions that are often compared to xenophobic sentiment.
The #PutSouthAfricansFirst movement protested outside of the Union Buildings on Wednesday, calling for an end to the employment of Zimbabwean nationals in certain industries. While no proposed legislation could discriminate against a certain demographic, general quotas on foreign workers are seen as a ‘neutral’ way to address the issue.
– The South African