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New laws proposed for employment of immigrants in South Africa

The Department of Employment and Labour (DEL) has raised concerns around illegal recruitment practices in South Africa – including the hiring of undocumented foreign nationals.

To address these and other issues, the department has developed a new National Labour Migration Policy (NLMP) with proposed amendments to the existing Employment Services Act. The proposals will be released for a three-month public comment process before the end of February/March 2022 once Cabinet approves the department’s submission.

“The Employment and NLMP will introduce maximum quotas on the total number of documented foreign nationals with work visas that can be employed in major economic sectors such as Agriculture, Hospitality and Tourism, Construction just to name a few.”

The NLMP will be complemented by small business intervention and the enforcement of a list of undesirable sectors where foreign nationals cannot be allocated business visas.

This will include amendments to the Small Business Act to limit foreign nationals establishing SMME and trading in some sectors of the economy.

“The Home Affairs, Border Management Authority is also getting into action to secure porous borders and to allow for the orderly movement of people and other nationals across ports of entry only,” the department said.

The Department of Higher Education and Training has released the critical skills list to provide guidance to all institutions to prioritise education and training interventions in those areas.

“The list will be used as a last resort, to allow foreign nationals in possession of the listed skills that the economy requires, and where job offers have been made, to be allocated work visas.

“The government will also impose various obligations on both the employer and the foreign national to transfer skills to locals and permits will be limited to specific durations,” the department said.

About Constance van Niekerk

Constance van Niekerk, (Connie V) is a creative writer, poet, music lover, spoken word artist, freelance writer, blogger and educator. She has contributed to several anthologies and published her own collection, Echoes of My Heart: A Poetry Collection available for purchase on all Amazon Stores Worldwide. Follow her on Twitter : @convanniekerk Connect with her on Facebook and Linkedin.

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