South Africans ‘must get jobs’
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