South Africans ‘must get jobs’

The Citizen (Gauteng) - - NEWS - Chi­som Jen­nif­fer Okoye

The Con­gress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) says al­though there is noth­ing new about the new draft reg­u­la­tions on the em­ploy­ment of for­eign na­tion­als, the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the draft is their big­gest con­cern, as South Africans are be­ing dis­placed by the ac­tions of busi­nesses who hire more for­eign na­tion­als than they should.

This comes after dis­cus­sions that took place in par­lia­ment to­wards the end of last year around the im­ple­men­ta­tion of leg­is­la­tion reg­u­lat­ing the em­ploy­ment of for­eign na­tion­als. The new draft, which is now open for pub­lic com­ment, pro­poses changes that will po­ten­tially af­fect the ap­pli­ca­tions of work visas, cor­po­rate visas and the sub­mis­sions of skills trans­fer plans.

These in­clude “re­quest­ing proof of reg­is­tra­tion with a pro­fes­sional body (be­fore only needed for crit­i­cal skills visas); proof that 60% of to­tal staff com­pli­ment em­ployed are SA cit­i­zens or per­ma­nent res­i­dents (be­fore only re­quired for busi­ness visas and cor­po­rate visas); ad­di­tional re­quire­ments when ad­ver­tis­ing avail­able po­si­tions; leg­is­lated time­lines of 10 days for the depart­ment to pro­vide feed­back on suitable can­di­dates from the ESSA sys­tem; and re­cip­ro­cally only al­lows com­pa­nies 10 days for feed­back on the can­di­dates pro­vided”.

Cosatu’s par­lia­men­tary co-co­or­di­na­tor Matthew Parks said there was noth­ing new about these pro­posed changes and that it was in line with the ex­ist­ing labour leg­is­la­tion, al­though they felt the 60% re­quire­ment was too gen­er­ous and needed to be higher.

“The im­ple­men­ta­tion of these laws by the gov­ern­ment and busi­nesses abid­ing to them is of ut­most con­cern to us. You will find that sev­eral jobs, such as petrol at­ten­dants, restau­rant wait­ers, do­mes­tic work­ers, and farm work­ers, are all dom­i­nated by for­eign na­tion­als.

“It is not right for SA youth to see the jobs that they could eas­ily have got­ten be taken from them. This cre­ates con­flict and xeno­pho­bic at­tacks will erupt.”

He said busi­nesses were al­lowed to hire skilled for­eign na­tion­als when they could prove that they could not find any lo­cals to do the jobs – but this was not what was hap­pen­ing and com­pa­nies usu­ally pre­ferred mi­grants to do un­skilled jobs be­cause they were a cheaper op­tion.

The im­ple­men­ta­tion of these laws by gov­ern­ment and busi­nesses abid­ing to them is of ut­most con­cern to us. Matthew Parks Cosatu’s par­lia­men­tary co-co­or­di­na­tor

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