Nxesi said that South African employers deliberately prefer foreign workers as a source of cheap labour, as they are willing to take ‘anything’ for wages.


His quotas will cause a regional catastrophe.

Has minister Nxesi considered the humanitarian impact of immigration quotas on families relying for their livelihood from working in South Africa?

Working here contains the flood of destitute people crossing our borders.

Nine child deaths every minute

Employing foreigners eases the humanitarian disaster unfolding in neighbouring countries, such as in Zimbabwe, widely recognised as a ‘failed state’.

Has he considered the nine child deaths every minute, 13,000 per day and the state of maternal mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa –  every year 4.4 million children—including 1.2 million new-borns—and 265,000 mothers die in sub-Saharan Africa where “half of the world’s maternal, new born, and child deaths” ? (Kinney, et al., 2010).

Has he considered that the real cause of immigrants entering our labour market is SA’s high minimum wages and regulations? That in our failing economy their ‘cheap labour’ is keeping many businesses afloat?

Cuban water wizards and medics-

What is his rationale of protecting the hospitality sector, restaurants, security, farming and agriculture against immigrants and not our engineers and other citizens against Cuban doctors and engineers, even subsidising them with taxpayers money, while local engineers and medics  are unemployed.

Labour department considers the introduction of quotas that would specify how many foreign workers could be hired in a given sector.

At a media briefing Employment and Labour minister Thulas Nxesi said the policy will regulate and limit sectors on the number of people employers can hire from other countries especially in sectors that do not require sophisticated skills. His department is currently working on the labour migration policy which will be tabled in cabinet soon.

A number of interventions were being considered as part of the policy, but confirmed that his department was considering the introduction of quotas that would specify how many foreign workers could be hired in a given sector.

Based on previous comments by Nxesi, the sectors which are likely to be directed impacted by the labour migration policy include:

  • The hospitality sector;
  • Restaurants;
  • Security;
  • Farming and agriculture.

Specific jobs such as restaurant waiters and truck drivers are also likely to come under scrutiny as they have previously been identified by the department as having a high concentration of foreign workers.

“We have signed binding international agreements and will ensure that our policy does not conflict with those agreements. In short, whatever we do, will be in line with the Constitution,” he said.

Briefing parliament in March, Nxesi said that the policy would primarily deal with low-skilled workers, with government expecting a ‘big debate’ given the tensions around foreigners in the country.