Draft National Labour Migration Policy for South Africa

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    National media have been covering confrontations about migrants and their employment. In response to the issues arising, the Minister of Employment and Labour has published a draft national policy – for your comment.

    In the email distribution via the Parliamentary Monitoring Group (PMG), a useful summary is provided, as follows:

    “In summary, National Labour Migration policy aims to achieve a balance between the following:

    (a) The population’s expectations regarding accessibility to work for South Africans, given worsening unemployment and a perception that undocumented foreigners are distorting labour market access;

    (b) South Africa’s labour market needs, in particular the need for critical skills not locally available;

    (c) The protection of migrant workers and their families, in accordance with international standards and guidelines; and

    (d) Regional integration and cooperation imperatives.”

    Please see attached file for the full draft policy.

    Comments can be sent to:
    by Saturday 28, May 2022

    Enquiries can be sent to:
    Esther.Tloane@labour.gov.za or

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    Gail Gibson

    I think this paper is going the wrong way by not addressing the elephant in the room.

    The South African labour market was unable to create enough decent employment due to a combination of factors BBBEE and lack of skills, resulting in high salaries for low productivit. This has resulted in many businesses closing head offices in South Africa and moving operations to low tax jurisdictions such as Dubai. An innovative, radical policy transformation has to start with the education of the nation and acknowledgement of the damage BBBEE policies cause and continues to cause.

    Retention of skills is vital but again this is affected by BBBEE stigma and implications resulting in ethical professionals preferring to re-locate.

    Starting a business in South Africa is fraught with legislation, remove the legislation requirements and let entrepreneurs do what they do best using the tax requirements to manage these businesses. Fines and big brother scenarios will restrict employment further.

    Good points are the visa recommendations but this has to be accompanied by tightening of borders and tax numbers being required and registered with SARS for all employees. I would avoid quotas since they have been shown to cause further problems in the countries they are implemented in.

    The point on the right to employ a foreign national to work in South Africa unless that foreign national “has the right to be so employed in terms of a visa issued under the Immigration Act”, needs further clarification. Is an asylum seeker or is allowed to work in South Africa by way of international agreement.

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