South Africa is considering enacting laws that limit the number of foreign nationals that can be employed across various industries in that country.
The country’s Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi told Parliament that his department was working on a Bill to set “quotas” for the number of foreign workers who can be hired across various industries.
Motsoaledi was responding to questions presented by the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) during an oral Question and Answer session in Parliament.
He said the Government will work closely with legal labour experts so that they will not violate the country’s Constitution but the end goal is to ensure that South Africans have “first access” to any suitable roles available. Said Motsoaledi:
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.
Like most countries in the developing world, South Africa has a very high unemployment rate that was made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Two-thirds of young adults in South Africa are unemployed and the problem has created tensions with foreign nationals often resulting in xenophobic attacks.
On Wednesday, a group of South Africans protested outside of the Union Buildings calling for an end to the employment of Zimbabwean nationals in certain industries.