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Employment and Labour Minister, TW Nxesi calls for “tough hand” of the inspectorate to deal with unscrupulous employers

Media Release: The Department of Employment and Labour: 27 September 2019

 

Employment and Labour Minister, TW Nxesi has called for the Department's inspectorate to get tougher on employers not complying with the country's labour laws before the situation gets out of hand.

 

Nxesi has warned that: “we cannot in this day-and-age continue with the employment of foreign nationals, and think there will be peace if you are going to take low-level jobs of low-skilled people and give it to displaced people”. Nxesi said the influx and employment of displaced foreign nationals in the country was not of their making.

 

The Minister said the intention of employing displaced people was a deliberate act by unscrupulous employers to pay them starvation wages.

 

Nxesi was speaking last night (September 26) during a Department of Employment and Labour’s Employment Standards inspector’s awards ceremony. The ceremony coincided with the three-day Department of Employment and Labour national inspectors’ conference which ends today (September 27).

 

The Employment Standards conference was held under the theme: “Innovation starts with us”. The conference held at the Olive Convention Centre in Durban brought together 1 300 Departmental officials, majority of whom are inspectors under one roof to discuss latest innovations in the midst of the 4th industrial revolution sweeping the workplaces.

 

“The intention is to employ displaced people and pay them starvation wages, make them to work long hours, make them to sleep on top of the shops. The intention is very simple - it is designed to boost profits through cheap labour,” warned the Minister.

 

“I am going to condemn that,” he emphasised that this happens amidst the massive unemployment and “do you think the masses will understand”, that, they would not be employed.

 

He identified hospitality, restaurant, construction, security as sectors exploiting the displaced foreigners. He said the phenomenon was now getting into retail.

 

“These are not scarce skills jobs”, he said these were jobs that local people can be able to do.

 

“Inspectors must deal harshly with employers not complying”, he said.

 

Nxesi condemned the attacks on foreign nationals. He said there was “nothing that justifies the attacks on these desperate people”. He said displaced people had left their countries crying for help. He said the issue of labour migration had taken a new dimension and this required “hard talk” at regional level.

 

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