The Department of  Employment and Labour says it is in the process of developing a new ‘national employment policy’ as it focuses on economic recovery post-Covid-19.

Addressing a virtual National Assembly mini-plenary on Tuesday (21 July) the deputy minister of Employment and Labour Boitumelo Moloi said that the policy will include new regulations around labour migration.

“As part of a larger project to develop a national employment policy, labour migration policy development is being fast-tracked both to address immediate challenges, as in the road freight and logistics sector, as well as to coordinate labour migration policies with the southern region and continent-wide,” she said.

“The inspectorate and enforcement services is focused on enforcing Covid-19 related health and safety directives. It will also prioritise advocacy work to promote compliance with labour legislation in the domestic sector.

“There will also be renewed focus on implementing employment equity legislation,” she said.

In an interview at the start of July, minister of Employment and Labour Thulas Nxesi says that the government is looking at new regulations to limit the employment of foreign nationals in South Africa.

Nxesi said that the new legislation would not only be limited to the road and freight sector but also other industries which employ a high number of foreign workers.

These include:

  • The hospitality sector;
  • Restaurants;
  • Security;
  • Farming and agriculture.

“We are looking into this matter in a proper way. However, it is important to remember that we can’t just ‘do away with foreigners’. Some of them are refugees and legally supposed to be here,” he said.

“The issue that we have to deal with is the illegal people which have been employed without any papers from Home Affairs.”

Nxesi said that the country’s labour laws state that South Africans should be given preference, but he noted that some bodies were pushing for a complete ban on foreigners in the trucking sector.

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