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Gauteng’s plans to restrict jobs for foreign workers ` what you need to know

Source: Bizztech, 28/09/2020

While the bill covers a number of issues, including job opportunities and growth, it also expressly prohibits foreign nationals from participating in economic activities reserved for citizens of, or persons with ‘permanent residency’ status in South Africa.
“Every citizen of and every person with permanent residency status in the republic has a right to practice his or her trade, occupation or profession of choice freely in the province,” the bill states.
The bill further indicates that a list of business activities will be drawn up which will be exclusively and solely-reserved for ownership and operation by citizens.
This list of business activities may be updated at any point based on a number of guiding principles including:
• Affirming black people in general and Africans in particular, women, youth and people with disabilities;
• Growing the economy;
• Increasing levels of the country’s Gross Domestic Product;
• Upstream production of primary resources or industrialisation;
• The exploitation of readily available and developed expertise in the republic;
• Potential or capacity to absorb a large number of people into employment;
• Opportunities for on-the-job training for the unskilled and unemployed and new graduates;
• Opportunities for localisation;
• Potential to create new streams of revenue to broaden the tax base and revenue of municipalities.
You can read the full bill below.
National legislation
The draft legislation comes after Employment and Labour minister Thulas Nxesi says that government is looking at new regulations to limit the employment of foreign nationals in South Africa.
Nxesi was responding to ongoing violence and protest action by South Africans truck sector in July, with some of the major complaints focusing on the loss of jobs to immigrant workers.
Speaking in an interview with eNCA, 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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