Government quotas for foreign workers in some sectors?

There is concern that employers prefer foreigners to locals in sectors such as restaurants and hospitality.

Government quotas for foreign workers in some sectors?

Foreign workers living in South Africa may be excluded from certain sectors of the economy under a new employment policy being developed by the Department of Employment and Labour.

This came to light during a discussion in Parliament on Thursday,7 May when Thobile Lamati, the director-general of the department, said these measures could apply in sectors where there was a preference for employing foreign workers.

Minister would determine sector and quota

“The minister would most probably determine that in this sector, only this percentage of foreign nationals will be allowed to work,” he said while addressing MPs during a virtual meeting of parliament’s two labour committees.

“This is not a new thing. It happens all over the world and is part of labour market employment policies,” Lamati noted.

“We are not sure if the target will increase or decrease but we think the employment policy will go a long way in addressing the number of challenges we have in the labour market.”

Some employers prefer to hire foreigners

Weighing into the discussion, the Minister of Employment and Labour, Thulas Nxesi, said it was common to see non-South Africans working in the likes of hospitality, restaurants, agriculture and private security. These employers preferred to hire foreigners and in some instances it had to do with skills, but in others the intention was to exploit cheap labour.

 “You can’t sit with millions of unemployed South Africans and in certain industries you just allow non-South Africans to be employed without any regulation,” Nxesi said. “We must introduce those quotas and stick to those quotas.” He added that it would be a balancing act.

But the minister emphasised that it was important not to be seen to be xenophobic or to be in violation of international conventions to which SA is a party.

Opposition labels the idea as nasty and mad

In a response, DA labour spokesperson Michael Cardo called the proposal “mad and dangerous”.

“It would be a nasty exercise in social engineering and whenever and wherever that has been tried throughout history it has had ugly consequences,” he said.

Source : The South African More   

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Questions over government’s readiness to reopen schools

School Management Teams are expected to report for duty at schools across the country this coming Monday.

Questions over government’s readiness to reopen schools

South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) has urged its members not to report for duty as schools begin preparing to reopen on Monday, fearing that the Department of Basic Education has not taken all precaution to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Schools have been disrupted by the pandemic, and have been closed since March.

Teachers urged to take caution ahead of schools reopening

Earlier this month, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced plans to rescue the academic year, which include pupils and teachers’ return to classrooms.

However, Sadtu secretary-general, Mugwena Maluleke has urged the union’s members not to report for duty until there is assurance that precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus have been adhered to.

“We have noticed and observed that they are not ready,” he is quoted by the. 

“They are ill-prepared for the opening of schools. They have not as yet procured the personal protective equipment such as masks, sanitisers and all the other requirements in terms of alert 4 requirements in the regulations. So they are not obliged to go to work on Monday. They should not go to work unless those things are there and there is evidence those things are there.”

Mugwena Maluleke, South African Democratic Teacher’s Union

Clarity over COVID-19 precautions

Elsewhere, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has asked for clarity on a few key issues regarding schools’ reopening.

“I call on the National Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga to urgently clarify and support to ensure readiness for the proposed phased reopening of schools in the Western Cape,” DA spokesperson on Education, Lorraine Botha said. “Before we can move forward, the national Minister needs to address core issues.”

Lorraine Botha, DA spokesperson on Education

The issues the party is asking for clarity on include the transportation of children to and from school, overcrowding of classrooms, and provisions made for special needs pupils.

Grade 7 to 12 learners are expected to return to the classroom on 1 June across the country.

Source : The South African More   

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